The musings of one Andrew Langer - defender of liberty, passionate protector of individual rights, foodie. (Note: Said Musings of Andrew Langer are his own, and the views represented herein are likewise his views, and not the views of any other people, entities, foodstuffs, etc [unless otherwise specifically and explicitly noted].)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Reponse from Thomas Lee Elifritz

Well, one would have thought that given his entreaties that he wanted to stop interacting with me on Usenet, Thomas Lee Eliftiz would have simply left well-enough alone - or at least he would have responded to my post here on the Liberty Blog.

But rather than do that, and (I assume) because he knows I'm loathe to post to Usenet again without a very compelling reason for doing so, he responded to me there. I further assume he did this because someone named "Phil Hays" accused me of being a liar when I mistakenly stated that I was finished posting to usenet, and Elifritz wanted to drag me back there and thus put me in the position of having to defend my decision to come back.

The epithet "liar" is one that gets thrown out a lot on Usenet - with increasing frequency, in fact. For my purposes, when I would say that someone lied, it was because the following definition applied:

- someone stated that something was incorrect;
- that person knew that the statement was incorrect before he or she stated it;
- that person made that statement with the intention to misrepresent the facts.

In other words, that person lied, under the classic understanding of what a lie is.

Now, I'd been accused of being a liar before (a professional liar, a shill, etc). But to this day, nobody has _ever_ proved me to have lied online.

Anyhow, with that being said, here is Mr. Elifritz' response, purporting to defend his actions in calling me the "n-word":

From: Thomas Lee Elifritz
Newsgroups: sci.environment,,sci.physics,
Subject: My Response to Andrew Langer's Blog
Message-ID: QwAxg.3055$nL.2469@fe06.lga
NNTP-Posting-Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2006 19:34:24 MST
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2006 21:32:58 -0500

Hi Andrew, thanks for the free advertising. I just knew that would work.
The mere thought of you returning to the usenet permanently was just too
horrible to bear. Let me tell you how it is. I live on an Island in the
Atlantic Ocean. In the old days, sometimes I was the only 'white nigga'
within 100 miles. Them homies called me 'whitey', in fact, they still
call me 'whitey', and you know what, nobody cares. We're out there in
the bush and on the water, and under the water, day in and day out, and
we have to scream at the top of our lungs just to be heard, over the
wind, the waves and the music. Once a week, when we'd go to the village
to go to church or pay our respects to the elderly, and maybe buy a
little food, we'd very often have to be reminded, usually by little
children, to 'clean it up'. You'll just have to take my word for it,
that the only racism I embrace, is that of anti-science bigotry.

I'm not proud to be an anti-science bigot, in fact, I'm ashamed to be an
American in an anti-science America. I'll take Bahamian Baptism over
Southern Baptism or Christian Fundamentalism any day of the week.

You really need to get out of your cubicle and into the real world.
You're a professional liar, Andrew, it's time to face up to the truth.

There is one thing I've learned living in the Atlantic : Truth Rules.

Andrew Langer :

Nature Boy :
----end quoted material---

1) If the thought of my returning to Usenet permanently was "too horrible to bear" then you should probably have left well-enough alone, not continued to post about me, and certainly not posted an ill-conceived explanation for your inexcusable choice of words;

2) The fact that you did so, in my opinion, undercuts your claims that you didn't want me to return to Usenet - either you want me to engage you there, or you don't. If you don't, then don't continue to instigate with me there;

3) There is no reasonable explanation for using that particular racial epithet. First of all, you didn't call me "nigga" (white, science, or otherwise). You called me "nigger". Even if we were to agree that there were a difference between the two words, you didn't use the former. You used the latter.

That is deplorable, regardless of your irrelevant personal history with the word. The fact that you spent time in and out of the water, were called "whitey", deigned to give blacks in your community a bit of your paternalistic time and largess, these do not excuse your use of the word in the forum of sci.environment in 2006.

The fact that you attempt to defend your use of the word, don't see anything wrong with it, and believe you are somehow entitled to use it, similarly undercuts your denials that you don't embrace racism. In fact, the subtle change in your rhetoric, from "nigger" to "nigga" evinces an attempt to soften what you said, a seeming recognition that what you said was wrong.

So take the next step and admit it.

4) When used today, such words are aimed at provoking a response - generally a negative one. We call that "race baiting". And, in point of fact, you admit that you were "race baiting" by using that term when you said in first defending your use of the term, "It got rid of Andrew Langer in a hurry, The thought of him returning to the usenet permanently, literally put the fear of God in me again." (Elifritz in message PZ9xg.128$Eo7.67@fe07.lga, again undercutting his claims).

5) What I'm really thinking is about sharing your particular choice of words with a few scientists who happen to be African-Americans, to see what they think about your defense, your claims of America being anti-science, and whether or not the right insult to hurl at someone who you believe to be anti-science would be to call them a "science nigger" (your term, not mine).

But let me ask you: what do you think an African-American would say about your using that term in 2006?

6) As for my "getting out of my cubicle and into the real world", I live in the real world everyday. I work on behalf of very real people living in the real world. I'm out talking to members in their businesses, I'm hearing from them on a constant basis--my reason for doing what I do professionally is to help make their lives better.

So, unlike your paternalistic visits to "the village", I'm spending every day, day-in and day-out, neck deep in the real lives of real people eking out livings in this country.

Finally, you call me a "professional liar"? Well, nobody has ever proved me to be a liar online - so you're offering up nothing more than conjecture. On would think that in the 8 or so years I was posting to Usenet, and in the 13 months that I've been blogging, just one of the people who had made this claim (Don Ferry, Scott Nudds, Devin McAndrews/Chive Mynde, or the Queen Kook herself) would have caught me in an out-and-out lie. Never happened.

On the other hand, we know that you're a racist, despite your lame protestations to the contrary. Not only a racist, but an unapologetic, unrepentant racist, on par with America's Dixiecrats, segregationists, and historic race baiters.

My, you must be so proud.

- Andrew Langer


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