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Citizen Irrelevant

SPOT the FALLACY: White Identitarian Persecution?

Another passage from a LTE opinion piece:

"  I see many similarities between the rise of the Nazi party prior to World War II in Germany and what is presently happening in this country.

"Certain religions and groups of people were charged with being racist or a threat to the country.  Currently, anyone of the white race in our country who is or has been successful is now accused of being a member of the “white supremacy.”


Hitler was the Time magazine “Man of the Year” in 1938.  Biden & Harris are the “Persons of the Year” for 2020. "

How many fallacies can you detect?    (  *And, yes, Trump was Time's cover "Person of the Year" in 2016; and coincidentally, appeared on the cover between 27 and 45 occasions, depending upon which fact checker you choose to believe...)

asked on Tuesday, Mar 30, 2021 11:29:45 AM by Citizen Irrelevant

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Arlo
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Based solely on the content of the initial post:

The "I see many similarities ..." statement described what the author "sees" (or believes to be true).  The author then goes on to offer three examples: (1) charges of being racist or a threat, (2) appearance on Time, and (3) accusations of "white supremacy".  

Whether 3 similarities count as "many" is open to debate, but then perhaps we can accept a bit of salesman bluffing.

There is the implication that because the author "sees many similarities", those similarities actually exist and have any particular significance.  (I suspect the Nazi Party operated with 7-day weeks, just like we do now ... however, it's not clear how that would be a significant "similarity".)  The reader is left to discover the connections associated with the 3 examples cited ... and to help the reader along, there's the unsupported implication that we're heading (intentionally or otherwise) in the direction of the Nazi regime.

The accuracy of the statement about successful white individuals being accused of being "white supremacy" is questionable.  Certainly some of the white race are considered in that way; however, the claim about " anyone of the white race" stretches reality, even if we agreed on who is successful and who isn't.

The "successful" claim, as presented, leaves the understanding of "success" open to debate ... and I suspect many folks participating in such a debate would hold different views of what constituted "success".  To lead to effective debate, a common understanding of "success" would be needed.

The statements about recognition by Time magazine are likely true statements.  At best, they are evidence that a former leader and a present one (or team) have been among the many individuals Time Magazine has recognized.  The author probably seeks to imply that being recognized by Time Magazine somehow is correlated (probably the author even implies causally related, too) to doing or causing bad things as a national leader.  The statement about Time's recognition stops short of anything other than simply stating a fact about two past recognitions.  Other Time Magazine recognitions include Greta Thunberg, Charles Lindbergh, Nelson Mandela, the computer, and You (those who contribute user-generated content to what we now call social media sites), but those examples probably wouldn't add any fuel to the author's current fire or support the implication that we're approaching something similar to the Nazi regime, so they're not particular useful examples of the "similarities" the author perceives.

 

answered on Wednesday, Mar 31, 2021 12:15:43 PM by Arlo

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Jordan Pine
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Not much to add as this was covered well. Just one other suggested ‘fallacy spotted’:

I see many similarities between the rise of the Nazi party prior to World War II in Germany and what is presently happening in this country.

This is a general form of abusive analogy. It is most often used in an ad hominem attack on a specific person, but here it is being used as a general setup with the specific targets to be identified later.

It is also an example of Godwin’s Law. 😃

answered on Wednesday, Mar 31, 2021 11:09:49 AM by Jordan Pine

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Arlo writes:

Thanx for the Godwin's Law reference.  I wasn't familiar with it.  I could become a believer!

posted on Wednesday, Mar 31, 2021 01:14:58 PM
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Rationalissimo
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We're knee-deep - screw that, hip-deep - in fallacious reasoning here.

"  I see many similarities between the rise of the Nazi party prior to World War II in Germany and what is presently happening in this country.

And this is about the only non-fallacious thing we see - a mere opinion. I'd say it's unfounded, but, as it is, there is no argument here (note the lack of a signpost - e.g. 'therefore', 'thus', 'because', 'consequently' etc).

"Certain religions and groups of people were charged with being racist or a threat to the country.  Currently, anyone of the white race in our country who is or has been successful is now accused of being a member of the “white supremacy.”

The author is trying to make a comparison between the demonisation of Jewish people in 1930s Germany, and assessments of the attitudes of white people in American society today, with regards to racial issues. These are not equivalent; Jews were subject to waves of punishing black propaganda intended to scapegoat them for Germany's internal crises, for which they were entirely blameless; thus, the entire project was predicated on a lie. Whether one agrees with Black Lives Matter or not, it is blatant that asking white Americans to take racism more seriously is not 'demonisation' anywhere on the level of that of the Jews in the 1930s, if it can be considered 'demonisation' at all. This is a weak analogy. The author also makes a strawman argument by implying that successful whites are called 'members of the white supremacy'; the real claim is that U.S. society was white supremacist and racial minorities are still feeling the effects of that.

Hitler was the Time magazine “Man of the Year” in 1938.  Biden & Harris are the “Persons of the Year” for 2020. "

This is irrelevant. People become "person of the year" for being influential the entire year round. We can call this a non sequitur as it gives weak/no support to the underlying argument. Not to mention the fact that Biden and Harris have nothing in common with Hitler.

And, yes, Trump was Time's cover "Person of the Year" in 2016

We could argue cherry picking as the author appears to have ignored this fact.

What a garbage OP;ED. I feel sorry for OP for having to read that crap.

answered on Tuesday, Mar 30, 2021 09:31:31 PM by Rationalissimo

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Citizen Irrelevant writes:

Rationallisimo:  thanks for deconstructing this, and, yes, a "crap" opinion, for certain.  There are over two dozen fallacies in this person's complete LTE.  And he does this week after week.  And he is only one of many contributors like this found in this Opinion Forum every Weds.  

I have tried to advise them to avoid logical fallacies, but they seem uninterested in facts, truth, or reason. They are like unhappy Parrots in a self-sealing Echo chamber!  

posted on Wednesday, Mar 31, 2021 12:53:12 AM