WisNeuro

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Speaking of which, there’s this: https://www.inclusivetherapists.com/blog/white-supremacy-has-no-place-in-mental-health-collective-response-to-“vilifying-karens”-article-on-psychology-today-by-dr-plante

Calling for someone’s board certification to be revoked over a blog post you didn’t like seems kind of extreme.
Yeah, that made it on our state association listserv. People on the list were calling Plante a liar after he subsequently issued a lengthy apology. Also, calling for APA to block him from even running for APA president is truly absurd. Campaign against him if you do not like him, sure, but to straight out block people from running for elected offices? That's falling down a slippery slope that I will fight against any day.

Also, it makes the title of that blog "Inclusivetherapists" read like an ironic joke.
 

WisNeuro

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His original article appears to have been removed. I can only find the rebuttals. But, “Karens” on the surface to me seems both racist and sexist. Can you imagine ascribing negative behaviors to “Tyrones?”

I swear this is like arguing with religious fanatics.

This supposedly has a side-by-side comparison and the edited article. Looks like this site did not care to include the apology and clarification letter by Dr. Plante.
 

WisNeuro

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That is pretty benign. The CRT folks are scary people.
I agree, if this is the sort of thing we want to come after someone's credentials for, a lot of people that are moderates and just left of center are at risk. If we want to spur a constructive dialog about the original piece, I'm all for it, but to skip to stripping board certification and barring him from running for office? Downright scary. If ABPP caves to this nonsense and takes away his board cert, I'll have no problem surrendering mine.
 
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His original article appears to have been removed. I can only find the rebuttals. But, “Karens” on the surface to me seems both racist and sexist. Can you imagine ascribing negative behaviors to “Tyrones?”

I swear this is like arguing with religious fanatics.
It sounds like you're suggesting that the act of mocking a woman who is white using the term "Karen" is a racist behavior. I think you might have a different definition than I do of what makes a behavior racist. Disrespectful? Sure. Stereotyping? Sure. Possibly discriminatory and/or prejudice? Sure. Racist? Definitely not.
 

WisNeuro

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It sounds like you're suggesting that the act of mocking a woman who is white using the term "Karen" is a racist behavior. I think you might have a different definition than I do of what makes a behavior racist. Disrespectful? Sure. Stereotyping? Sure. Possibly discriminatory and/or prejudice? Sure. Racist? Definitely not.
I think the poster may instead be referring to the blog post calling Plante a white supremacist and stating that he is supporting drapetomania.
 

WisNeuro

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I think it qualifies as racist and sexist. They’re using a name they associated with white women, ascribing negative stereotypes to it, and then labeling anyone who looks like that and behaves in a way consistent with the negative stereotype as a “Karen.”
I'd tend to disagree here. Similar to incels labeling someone as a "Chad" or the like. It's more a label on behavior, with underlying tones of privilege on the perpetrator. I'd take more umbrage with the use of absurd, hyperbolic language.
 

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I can see that. But, the use case here is specially race/sex intended. The latter is an obvious issue too.
It is to some extent, but the privilege is the main issue here. Not exactly the hill I'd choose to die on in this debate, much more alarming issue sat hand than this.
 

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fair enough. But those sorts of language shorthands are a slippery slope.
Can be, but in this case, you'll likely get bogged down in a definition of privilege debate and the more pressing matters will get passed by. It's the failing strategy of the progressive left lately, putting all your resources and energy into fighting a single battle of more minor consequence, and losing the more important war.
 
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beginner2011

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His original article appears to have been removed. I can only find the rebuttals. But, “Karens” on the surface to me seems both racist and sexist. Can you imagine ascribing negative behaviors to “Tyrones?”

I swear this is like arguing with religious fanatics.
the language of their rebuttal is extreme and kisses the border of racism in form “whiteness.” This is a terrible language space to talk about race.
I think it qualifies as racist and sexist. They’re using a name they associated with white women, ascribing negative stereotypes to it, and then labeling anyone who looks like that and behaves in a way consistent with the negative stereotype as a “Karen.” It is literally being used as a race/sex pejorative.
I can see that. But, the use case here is specially race/sex intended. The latter is an obvious issue too.
I'm curious how you would respond to the claim that what you're doing here is engaging in cancel culture?
 

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I'm curious how you would respond to the claim that what you're doing here is engaging in cancel culture?
Cancel culture is not challenging ideas. That should be encouraged. We should have lively debates, even on things we vehemently disagree about. Cancel culture is using the threat of things like banning people from running for elected position, stripping their credentials, getting them fired, etc to not even engage with an argument, regardless of its potential merits.
 

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Speaking of which, there’s this: https://www.inclusivetherapists.com/blog/white-supremacy-has-no-place-in-mental-health-collective-response-to-“vilifying-karens”-article-on-psychology-today-by-dr-plante

Calling for someone’s board certification to be revoked over a blog post you didn’t like seems kind of extreme.

"Dr. Plante weaponizes White women’s tears to silence protests against racial injustice, while disregarding the disproportionate power of White tears (that are sometimes deadly, remembering Emmett Till) over BIPOC tears that continue to be disregarded."

... some of this article? letter? statement? is pretty intense. Wow. They are just going for the jugular. That is scary.
 
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"Dr. Plante weaponizes White women’s tears to silence protests against racial injustice, while disregarding the disproportionate power of White tears (that are sometimes deadly, remembering Emmett Till) over BIPOC tears that continue to be disregarded."

... some of this article? letter? statement? is pretty intense. Wow. They are just going for the jugular. That is scary.
I haven't read it closely, but I don't think I would agree with many of the arguments made in the piece. I will say that it's notable that we're discussing these issues, whereas if the arguments were not so aggressive and strident I seriously doubt the issues would be in any of our awareness. Also of note, the probability that ABPP revokes Plante's membership (or whatever it's called) is essentially nil. Even if it were revoked it's not clear to me what material effect that would have on his well-being. As WisNeuro noted, they'd drop their ABPP on principle if Dr. Plante were removed (and presumably this wouldn't meaningfully impact WisNeuro's bottom line?).
 

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if the arguments were not so aggressive and strident I seriously doubt the issues would be in any of our awareness.
There aren't really arguments. At least crafted in a way encouraging ongoing awareness and discussion in a constructive way. I do see threats. And a piece crafted with the intention to take someone down as if they were holding kkk rallies or something. It's just, a bit much. If plante dug in, okay this would be making more sense, but I haven't seen that?

Also of note, the probability that ABPP revokes Plante's membership (or whatever it's called) is essentially nil. Even if it were revoked it's not clear to me what material effect that would have on his well-being. As WisNeuro noted, they'd drop their ABPP on principle if Dr. Plante were removed (and presumably this wouldn't meaningfully impact WisNeuro's bottom line?).
Just cause you don't think something isn't meaningful and valuable to someone, doesn't mean they themselves share that view. In addition, there are likely great time, esteem, peer to peer and public/patient perceived competence, financial costs, etc... issues to defneding licensing board complaints, public reputation impacts...
 

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There aren't really arguments. At least crafted in a way encouraging ongoing awareness and discussion in a constructive way. I do see threats. And a piece crafted with the intention to take someone down as if they were holding kkk rallies or something. It's just, a bit much. If plante dug in, okay this would be making more sense, but I haven't seen that?
He did not, after speaking with past president Rosie Phillips and a few others, he issued an apology
 

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Seems like this forum is critical of CRT. I wish there was someone on here that could discuss some of the concerns we present. I think, generally, psychologists are trained to validate other's experience but not necessarily agree. I understand how a lot of this sounds and reads as oppressive and discriminatory. I rely on evidence for agreement, empirical evidence when possible, from studies or experiments preferably. The problem is not everyone agrees that the empiricist/positivist perspective is the pinnacle for evidence. Difficult to have a debate when groups don't agree on the rules.
 

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With regard to the Plante article and the response, I think there may be some kernel of truth to both perspectives here, although I don't agree with some of the conclusions made on both sides.

I do think it's important to consider the messenger and the message when reading articles, so context is important. Plante may not be aware that he may actually be inadvertently protecting the status quo by reminding people (i.e. perhaps marginalized groups in the case for the white woman in the park example) that they should be more forgiving and empathic toward the "Karens"--the example he used of the white woman who called the police on a Black man birdwatching wasn't just some benign event in which she was a "jerk" and all of us should just be empathic and move on--she straight up used her whiteness as a weapon and it was clearly a very conscious and racist act against the man (trying to get him arrested for ....birdwatching in a public park? Asking her to follow the park rules?). These kinds of acts are not isolated as we are seeing, but now coming to light as we record things in the digital age. I don't believe for a second that the woman in the park engaged in racist behavior just once in her life. Using this woman as an example of a "Karen" and later discussing how we demonize people who make a mistake seems like a poor choice on Plante's part, in my opinion, and seems qualitatively different than the exaxmple of someone refusing to wear a mask that Plante also mentions.

What Plante also doesn't say is that we see "cancellation" on the extreme right in governments, although it doesn't quite look the same--i.e. people using power to censor others via firing, blocking press from attending events, etc. We just don't call it cancel culture. This as an equally disturbing trend in our current executive branch of our government that it is actually analogous to cancel culture but from people in positions of institutional power. Is this not equally egregious? Shouldn't it be called out as a "bad trend" as well that may stifle dissent or differing opinions? Doesn't it also show a lack of empathy?

I also agree with Plante that extreme hateful words that include death threats, publishing personal info, etc. are completely unacceptable on all sides and should stop. And that we all should ease up on the extreme hateful words via social media and try harder generally to be more empathic to others, and maintain our humanity. But here's the thing--I wonder how many times marginalized groups/people of color have tried to talk to folks politely and kindly about their perhaps racist behaviors and received defensiveness or rudeness in return. There's no intrinsic motivation for people to want to see themselves as having done something racist--in fact, we're far more motivated to believe the opposite. So I can imagine why social media might empower some marginalized folks to actually be able to call things out en masse--I don't see this social media justice movement as all bad, just bad when things go too far.

Do I think Plante is maybe being shortsighted in this article? Yes, hence I think rebutting would be great to see from different professionals because it's an opinion piece that can be rebutted with more opinions. Do I think he should be stripped of his board certification? No. It would certainly help if there was an actual dialogue to better understand his position on things rather than this brief article.

So I can see bits of truth in both perspectives. We do make mistakes, but using the white woman in the park as an example and then going on to say we shouldn't demonize folks, etc. was a poor example for him to use at best, in my opinion, because where’s the corresponding call for the “Karens” to be empathic toward others? But then, on the flipside, we shouldn't also shouldn't call for people's deaths, publish others' personal information that is private like addresses, etc., or make people fear for their lives, instead using social media to call for justice in other ways and expressing disapproval if we can via the personally reaching out, engaging in activism, telling friends/family, etc., voting (with ballot or wallet), etc. The response to Plante's article is very strong, but I still think they are suggesting something that may perhaps have some truth in it, although worded in such a way as to be easily dismissed based on the strong language.

What I find the most noteworthy about Plante's article is that he goes out of his way to try to explain the bad/extreme behavior of the social media "cancel culture" folks by using psychological phenomena, but is rather silent on the bad behavior of the "Karens" of the world. Why are they acting this way? What might explain the behaviors of all of the "Karens" of the world and shouldn’t they be more empathic toward others?
 

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The problem is not everyone agrees that the empiricist/positivist perspective is the pinnacle for evidence. Difficult to have a debate when groups don't agree on the rules.
Few people realize that these are actually debates about the philosophy of science and fewer yet realize that this debate has actually been going on (in some form) for nearly seventy years.
 

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I think social media creates a punishment vector that hasn’t been present in our society in this way for quite some time. Think The Scarlett Letter. We are seeing massive movements against random citizens, who get caught up in a viral storm. The motives behind it are complex and varied. To become part of a national and even international conversation is life altering, a space in our immediate past usually occupied for things like being a serial killer (Jack the ripper) or prominent pedophile/sex criminal (Epstein/Weinstein).

In my opinion, it’s a messy problem. Because, of course, the woman in the park was very wrong. She acted in a racist manner. She’s now famous for it. She will likely not be known for anything else. If one could devise this as a punishment in the criminal system, I think it would be considered pretty severe. I don’t think Plante’s article was a well crafted discussion of these issues. But, the issues are worthy of discussion.

I think using her as an example is actually interesting fodder. Why? She was wrong. Most people likely agree she was wrong, left or right of the political aisle. In thinking about some of people I’ve treated as a psychologist, I wonder how many moments in their lives would go viral like this, if constantly filmed. Seems like there would be a high casualty rate as they struggle with behaving in adaptive ways and overcoming poor backgrounds and brain function. In some ways, you see the light shined on behaviors like the woman in the park and the thought is, that’s great. Let’s stamp out this casual racism. Perhaps more people will be more aware of what they’re doing and how they affect others. But, it’s a helluva consequence. Maybe worth it. Maybe not. But it does seem that there are many potential negatives to the phenomena.

One consequence is the topic of the Harper’s letter.... namely, it’s difficult to have a free exchange of ideas, work through understanding another’s perspective and even change one’s mind on something if you can’t make an error in argument, or even, make an incomplete argument. I reference Plante not the woman in the park on this.
Yes, there are definitely some far-reaching consequences at times for some of these folks when posted online for the world to see (as are there consequences of racism, etc.). But I also think that part of the reason that the woman in the park example wasn’t great to refer to as a “Karen” as an example of someone folks need to just forgive is because no one has truly been listening to Black folks for hundreds of years when they‘Ve experienced racism—there is a long, brutal legacy of dominance behind that woman’s behavior that all Black folks are deeply familiar with, and finally there is a way to hold this woman accountable (and police accountable, etc.) that doesn’t require a lot of power and resources—just a phone with video.

So should we not be posting police brutality acts on social media? Or is it just the “everyday“ racism that folks experience that marginalized groups shouldn’t be posting? I just wonder in this case what the birdwatcher who was Black could’ve possibly done to engage this woman in a heart-to-heart about her racism after she called police and then left the park before cops showed up. He had no idea who she was or how to find her (and how would she have responded to him trying to contact her after responding so badly to a simple request for her to leash her dog, if I recall correctly)? So dialogue is great, but what happens when there’s no way to have it during an incident?

People do tend to say more extreme things online and are more emboldened when it isn’t face-to-face contact—and things do get out of hand at times. I’m just not sure that specifically posting racist acts online is the problem. In fact, I think it has potential to make people reflect on their own behaviors even if they weren’t involved if they see someone doing something they would have done themselves and how the world sees that.

In the greater scheme, i think that there will eventually be a broader call for more humanity in terms of saying extreme, hateful things on social media and/or a swing away from that extremism over time. But I still think that it’s fair game to call out racism, sexism, etc. when it is seen and that bringing all of this to light will be a net positive in the end.

Plante failed to recognize all of this in his article when using this as an example. Context is everything.
 
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WisNeuro

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Yes, there are definitely some far-reaching consequences at times for some of these folks when posted online for the world to see (as are there consequences of racism, etc.). But I also think that part of the reason that the woman in the park example wasn’t great to refer to as a “Karen” as an example of someone folks need to just forgive is because no one has truly been listening to Black folks for hundreds of years when they‘Ve experienced racism—there is a long, brutal legacy of dominance behind that woman’s behavior that all Black folks are deeply familiar with, and finally there is a way to hold this woman accountable (and police accountable, etc.) that doesn’t require a lot of power and resources—just a phone with video.

So should we not be posting police brutality acts on social media? Or is it just the “everyday“ racism that folks experience that marginalized groups shouldn’t be posting? I just wonder in this case what the birdwatcher who was Black could’ve possibly done to engage this woman in a heart-to-heart about her racism after she called police and then left the park before cops showed up. He had no idea who she was or how to find her (and how would she have responded to him trying to contact her after responding so badly to a simple request for her to leash her dog, if I recall correctly)? So dialogue is great, but what happens when there’s no way to have it during an incident?

People do tend to say more extreme things online and are more emboldened when it isn’t face-to-face contact—and things do get out of hand at times. I’m just not sure that specifically posting racist acts online is the problem. In fact, I think it has potential to make people reflect on their own behaviors even if they weren’t involved if they see someone doing something they would have done themselves and how the world sees that.

In the greater scheme, i think that there will eventually be a broader call for more humanity in terms of saying extreme, hateful things on social media and/or a swing away from that extremism over time. But I still think that it’s fair game to call out racism, sexism, etc. when it is seen and that bringing all of this to light will be a net positive in the end.

Plante failed to recognize all of this in his article when using this as an example. Context is everything.
Failing to explicitly address is not the same as not recognizing this, one of the issues with the backlash with this article is that people are insinuating things about Plante above and beyond the scope and intent of his article. The article was not meant to be a treatise/dissertation/theses/etc on the subject. Furthermore, he does not claim that the "Karen" of Central Park park should face zero consequences. He does, however, bring up a good point in that our vilification of these individuals almost always leads to things such as death threats and threats of harm to that individual. One of the central points he alludes to in the "Golden Rule" kind of thinking is that, should we be responding to systemic racism and violence with more violence? Where does that get us, and how does it serve to move us forward? Sure, Plante could have written a much broader piece, and addressed things in much greater detail, but that's not what this article was or was supposed to be. Sure, use it to spur discussion, but I find some of the assertions and hyperbolic statements truly Kafkaesque. In essence, we'd have to criticize every single blog post or news article because it's not 30k words long with detailed accounting for complex sociopolitical ideas. I guess Twitter is going to have to allow novel length tweets so people can adequately address these issues when they tweet about the protests. I wonder if I can get PTO for the hours I'll need to spend on twitter and forum posts now...
 
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Plante failed to recognize all of this in his article when using this as an example. Context is everything.
Failing to explicitly address is not the same as not recognizing this, one of the issues with the backlash with this article is that people are insinuating things about Plante above and beyond the scope and intent of his article.
I agree with @foreverbull that Plante failed to recognize the context. We can do a comparison of count of critical statements regarding "cancel culture" versus those regarding "Karen-like behavior". As far as I can tell Plante critiques Karens a total of one time in the entire article. He states, "They behave in entitled and demanding ways." He then goes on for the entirety of the remainder of his post to excoriate, demean, and trivialize those who respond to this "entitled and demanding" behavior in aggressive ways.

His approach to modifying behavior here, to me, seems wildly misinformed and predictably ineffective. He's purportedly speaking to an audience of people who are engaged in "cancel culture," and instead of acknowledging and validating fears and anger, he's condescending and scolding. He minimizes the problem and hardly acknowledges the validity of the emotion at all. "Entitled and demanding"? The black man who had the cops called on him by a white woman in a park wasn't just dealing with someone who was "entitled and demanding" -- she was actively engaging in behavior that had a non-zero chance of leading to his arrest or death.

If I want to help a client reduce maladaptive behaviors, and the client comes in and tells me they're afraid and angry and it leads to them engaging in those same maladaptive behaviors...how effective is it for me to scold and blame them for their behavior? It just seems...kind of dumb, to say the least.
 

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I agree with @foreverbull that Plante failed to recognize the context. We can do a comparison of count of critical statements regarding "cancel culture" versus those regarding "Karen-like behavior". As far as I can tell Plante critiques Karens a total of one time in the entire article. He states, "They behave in entitled and demanding ways." He then goes on for the entirety of the remainder of his post to excoriate, demean, and trivialize those who respond to this "entitled and demanding" behavior in aggressive ways.

His approach to modifying behavior here, to me, seems wildly misinformed and predictably ineffective. He's purportedly speaking to an audience of people who are engaged in "cancel culture," and instead of acknowledging and validating fears and anger, he's condescending and scolding. He minimizes the problem and hardly acknowledges the validity of the emotion at all. "Entitled and demanding"? The black man who had the cops called on him by a white woman in a park wasn't just dealing with someone who was "entitled and demanding" -- she was actively engaging in behavior that had a non-zero chance of leading to his arrest or death.

If I want to help a client reduce maladaptive behaviors, and the client comes in and tells me they're afraid and angry and it leads to them engaging in those same maladaptive behaviors...how effective is it for me to scold and blame them for their behavior? It just seems...kind of dumb, to say the least.
I strongly disagree with this sentiment, which is probably where some of what I see as the unnecessary hyperbole and vitriol comes in.

As for his approach to modifying behavior, it is actually much more empirically based than the current norm. We know that public shaming and humiliation, if anything, is counter productive in behavior change on the macro level. If anything, it just further entrenches it and makes it more covert. I find it interesting that you say that you would not scold and blame someone for a maladaptive behavior, but then support the scolding, shaming, and removal of rights of Plante by the extremists in the blog post.
 
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I strongly disagree with this sentiment, which is probably where some of what I see as the unnecessary hyperbole and vitriol comes in.

As for his approach to modifying behavior, it is actually much more empirically based than the current norm. We know that public shaming and humiliation, if anything, is counter productive in behavior change on the macro level. If anything, it just further entrenches it and makes it more covert. I find it interesting that you say that you would not scold and blame someone for a maladaptive behavior, but then support the scolding, shaming, and removal of rights of Plante by the extremists in the blog post.
I wouldn't say I support the specific actions. For example, I'm not doing any of it myself, and I discourage friends from doing that sort of thing. I do think I have some understanding of why it's being done, and support the intent if not the method. I also support Plante's intent -- I think greater compassion, empathy, kindness, and generosity would ultimately lead to better outcomes. I think his method is tone-deaf and way off-base, though.
 

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Failing to explicitly address is not the same as not recognizing this, one of the issues with the backlash with this article is that people are insinuating things about Plante above and beyond the scope and intent of his article. The article was not meant to be a treatise/dissertation/theses/etc on the subject. Furthermore, he does not claim that the "Karen" of Central Park park should face zero consequences. He does, however, bring up a good point in that our vilification of these individuals almost always leads to things such as death threats and threats of harm to that individual. One of the central points he alludes to in the "Golden Rule" kind of thinking is that, should we be responding to systemic racism and violence with more violence? Where does that get us, and how does it serve to move us forward? Sure, Plante could have written a much broader piece, and addressed things in much greater detail, but that's not what this article was or was supposed to be. Sure, use it to spur discussion, but I find some of the assertions and hyperbolic statements truly Kafkaesque. In essence, we'd have to criticize every single blog post or news article because it's not 30k words long with detailed accounting for complex sociopolitical ideas. I guess Twitter is going to have to allow novel length tweets so people can adequately address these issues when they tweet about the protests. I wonder if I can get PTO for the hours I'll need to spend on twitter and forum posts now...
I explicitly stated that I disagreed with the calls for Plante to lose board certification over it. I think a discussion in this case is more fruitful between Plante and others; perhaps on an individual level, etc.

I don’t disagree with the argument that extremism is not always helpful. On the same token, as @beginner2011 pointed out and as I mentioned as well, Plante seems far more concerned about social media extremism than the “Karen“-like behaviors that include acting on entrenched racism which to me, are equally damaging if not more so because they are also systemic and widespread. I’m just not sure how the social media backlash is worse or more damaging than what was already going on in our country to marginalized folks but not viral on social media. To argue in defense of the Karens while bemoaning the social media extremism is interesting when we actually don’t know if the “Karens“ have had negative impacts on others that are invisible and at the individual level and have been equally damaging. Hence why I wonder why the Karens need to be defended as having made a mistake while social media extremists discussed in depth as though their lack of empathy in response to the Karens is actually the bigger issue (Plante, where’s the equal empathy for the folks sick of racism who make a mistake and lash out at people online who say racist things to others, etc.?). I don’t think a more balanced view would’ve received the same backlash.

Plante didn’t say too much about free speech in his article that I can recall—but let me be clear that I take issue with his article content, but not with his right to say whatever he wants. And yes, this isn’t to say that some things don’t go too far in terms of consequences for people who disagree with the prevailing culture. My posts in this thread are specific criticisms of Plante’s argument.
 

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I explicitly stated that I disagreed with the calls for Plante to lose board certification over it. I think a discussion in this case is more fruitful between Plante and others; perhaps on an individual level, etc.

I don’t disagree with the argument that extremism is not always helpful. On the same token, as @beginner2011 pointed out and as I mentioned as well, Plante seems far more concerned about social media extremism than the “Karen“-like behaviors that include acting on entrenched racism which to me, are equally damaging if not more so because they are also systemic and widespread. I’m just not sure how the social media backlash is worse or more damaging than what was already going on in our country to marginalized folks but not viral on social media. To argue in defense of the Karens while bemoaning the social media extremism is interesting when we actually don’t know if the “Karens“ have had negative impacts on others that are invisible and at the individual level and have been equally damaging. Hence why I wonder why the Karens need to be defended as having made a mistake while social media extremists discussed in depth as though their lack of empathy in response to the Karens is actually the bigger issue (Plante, where’s the equal empathy for the folks sick of racism who make a mistake and lash out at people online who say racist things to others, etc.?). I don’t think a more balanced view would’ve received the same backlash.

Plante didn’t say too much about free speech in his article that I can recall—but let me be clear that I take issue with his article content, but not with his right to say whatever he wants. And yes, this isn’t to say that some things don’t go too far in terms of consequences for people who disagree with the prevailing culture. My posts in this thread are specific criticisms of Plante’s argument.
Plante does not posit that Karens need to be defended, but rather is commenting on the methods and consequences of how we go about calling out this behavior and punishing it. I believe that part of the issue people have with Plante is assuming and putting words into his mouth that he sdoes not say, and the passages used to "justify" those likely misattributions are ambiguous, at best.

At heart of the issue here, in the context of the larger cancel culture debate is, that engaging in a circular firing squad among everyone left of center solves nothing, and if anything, leads us farther away from any meaningful societal change. All it does it create divisions and rancor among people who have largely overlapping views and goals.
 

gene_halpert

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I think it would be worthwhile for Plante to consider why the acts of retaliation seemed to be more unsettling to him than the racist acts themselves.

However, I also think it’s fair to write an article criticizing a phenomena one is concerned about without having to provide a sympathetic and in depth discussion on why it may be occurring (although that would strengthen the article).

As is almost always the case, greater insight and acknowledgment would have done this article some good.

(Sorry I keep cosplaying as a psychologist on this forum, hopefully I’ll join the ranks this decade).
 

WisNeuro

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I think it would be worthwhile for Plante to consider why the acts of retaliation seemed to be more unsettling to him than the racist acts themselves.
Can you show me where he says that he is more unsettled by the acts of retaliation than the racist acts themselves? I may have missed that part of the original article.
 
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gene_halpert

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Fair call. It’s an (unfair) assumption on my part. My impression comes from the fact that this is the topic he chose to write about and highlight.

Perhaps a better way to say what I meant:

I would think it’s worthwhile to consider why he felt this topic was pressing enough to write about without providing greater context or for the cause of the behavior he was decrying.
 

WisNeuro

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Fair call. It’s an (unfair) assumption on my part. My impression comes from the fact that this is the topic he chose to write about and highlight.

Perhaps a better way to say what I meant:

I would think it’s worthwhile to consider why he felt this topic was pressing enough to write about without providing greater context or for the cause of the behavior he was decrying.
Plante is a fairly prolific writer and researcher. As are many people. Do we then have to ask that question of every piece of written material? Particularly with thousands of articles on similar or tangentially related topics? Why the scrutiny of this particular piece in a way that we do not hold others accountable for in the same way. If anything, this particular article appears to be something of a projective instrument, plenty of people seeing what they want to see, assuming whatever they feel like assuming.
 

gene_halpert

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Hmm. I suppose I was focusing on this piece specifically because it is what we’ve been discussing here. I guess I’ll be more careful when I make assumptions about one’s personal views outside of the scope of the article in question. As an aside, I really don’t disagree much with his original piece.

I would point out that the second part of my original post was defending his ability to write an article focusing on one phenomenon without necessarily having to provide a robust defense of the other perspective. I just thought some extra insight there would have strengthened the piece.

Perhaps I’m talking out of turn.
 
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AbnormalPsych

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I would think it’s worthwhile to consider why he felt this topic was pressing enough to write about without providing greater context or for the cause of the behavior he was decrying.
I mean, I'm guessing there was a word count and he couldn't write a dissertation.

Also, there is much being written about the larger systemic racism pieces of this. He appears to have wanted to pick another component of this. I don't know that anyone who ever writes about these kinds of events MUST include the complete context always.
 

WisNeuro

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I mean, I'm guessing there was a word count and he couldn't write a dissertation.

Also, there is much being written about the larger systemic racism pieces of this. He appears to have wanted to pick another component of this. I don't know that anyone who ever writes about these kinds of events MUST include the complete context always.
This critique would be like saying why in my clinical report diagnosing Alzheimer's, why did I not also include at least several pages discussing the epidemiology and history of the diagnosis.
 

beginner2011

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This critique would be like saying why in my clinical report diagnosing Alzheimer's, why did I not also include at least several pages discussing the epidemiology and history of the diagnosis.
Considering that you have credentials that indicate you have an understanding of the epidemiology and the history of the diagnosis, I don't think it's an apt analogy. Also, there's a substantial difference between a confidential clinical report for the purpose of individual patient care and a public letter/blog post.

Out of curiosity, has Plante ever publicly demonstrated awareness/understanding/respect for the history and impact of racism? Or are we just presuming that he determined the scope of his discussion based on a careful consideration of both sides?
 

WisNeuro

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Considering that you have credentials that indicate you have an understanding of the epidemiology and the history of the diagnosis, I don't think it's an apt analogy. Also, there's a substantial difference between a clinical report for the purpose of individual patient and a public letter/blog post.

Out of curiosity, has Plante ever publicly demonstrated awareness/understanding/respect for the history and impact of racism? Or are we just presuming that he determined the scope of his discussion based on a careful consideration of both sides?
I would still contend that he does not need to have passed a test demonstrating awareness of history and impacts and racism to write a blog post discussing civility. I would contend that he can write in a manner that is either a narrow focus, or a broad analysis as he wishes. I would contend that in and of themselves, those things are not inherently racist.
 
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gene_halpert

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I think you’re interpreting my statements in a hyperbolic way. To make it clear, I actually thought the original article made a decent point and that the posted reaction was...extreme.

However, I’d like to try to engage with the perspectives of the authors of the rebuttal (complaint?) in good faith. Apparently I’m not succeeding.

I don’t think it’s ridiculous to say that further context would have helped the article.
 

foreverbull

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Plante is a fairly prolific writer and researcher. As are many people. Do we then have to ask that question of every piece of written material? Particularly with thousands of articles on similar or tangentially related topics? Why the scrutiny of this particular piece in a way that we do not hold others accountable for in the same way. If anything, this particular article appears to be something of a projective instrument, plenty of people seeing what they want to see, assuming whatever they feel like assuming.
Projection can happen on both sides--those who don't think there's anything significant about his focus, and those who do. Certainly we all come in with our own opinions on the topic, but I don't see how either perspective is unbiased, as our beliefs and opinions shape what we choose to write about and not write about, or highlight and not highlight. It goes both ways.

Plante's argument is shortsighted, in my opinion, which I continue to maintain. He mentions the white woman in the park as an example, and says no it's not okay, but shaming and death threats aren't okay and lives are ruined because of people who respond to the Karens too aggressively online, but later in his article, he talks about how all of us are subject to vitriol if we step out of line in the view of others, and that we've all acted impulsively or out of line, so we as the audience, are being lumped in with Karens like the ones he mentioned and told we would hopefully regret, seek forgiveness, and learn from it. If the "Karen" video wasn't posted, would this woman have taken the initiative to realize what she did was wrong and seek forgiveness for it in her refusal to even talk in good faith with the Black man? And tell me, have lives or families not been equally ruined by systemic racism? I'm just confused about the call for empathy just on ONE side.

He says we run the risk of victimizing the people offended by the videos/Karens....but we don't risk victimizing the Karens themselves in his article by his very words when he says these online behaviors "ruined lives of not only the Karens, but their families too." Strong language here!

Plante also specifically says: "Certainly if laws were broken and crimes committed, the video evidence would be used to ensure that justice is served. And if someone uses their power and privilege to oppress and marginalize others, there should be clear consequences following legal and other appropriate means for reform and justice." I wonder about this. He goes on to talk about humiliation not being okay, but I also wonder if he thinks that posting the videos at all is creating the problem. What exactly are the "appropriate means" of seeking justice? He doesn't clarify except to specify legal means--lawsuits, legal reform? What if the video is posted and no one makes any death threats, people just talk about how much of an outrage it is?
 

WisNeuro

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I think you’re interpreting my statements in a hyperbolic way. To make it clear, I actually thought the original article made a decent point and that the posted reaction was...extreme.

However, I’d like to try to engage with the perspectives of the authors of the rebuttal (complaint?) in good faith. Apparently I’m not succeeding.

I don’t think it’s ridiculous to say that further context would have helped the article.
Sure, we could say that for most short pieces.
 

WisNeuro

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Projection can happen on both sides--those who don't think there's anything significant about his focus, and those who do. Certainly we all come in with our own opinions on the topic, but I don't see how either perspective is unbiased, as our beliefs and opinions shape what we choose to write about and not write about, or highlight and not highlight. It goes both ways.

Plante's argument is shortsighted, in my opinion, which I continue to maintain. He mentions the white woman in the park as an example, and says no it's not okay, but shaming and death threats aren't okay and lives are ruined because of people who respond to the Karens too aggressively online, but later in his article, he talks about how all of us are subject to vitriol if we step out of line in the view of others, and that we've all acted impulsively or out of line, so we as the audience, are being lumped in with Karens like the ones he mentioned and told we would hopefully regret, seek forgiveness, and learn from it. If the "Karen" video wasn't posted, would this woman have taken the initiative to realize what she did was wrong and seek forgiveness for it in her refusal to even talk in good faith with the Black man? And tell me, have lives or families not been equally ruined by systemic racism? I'm just confused about the call for empathy just on ONE side.

He says we run the risk of victimizing the people offended by the videos/Karens....but we don't risk victimizing the Karens themselves in his article by his very words when he says these online behaviors "ruined lives of not only the Karens, but their families too." Strong language here!

Plante also specifically says: "Certainly if laws were broken and crimes committed, the video evidence would be used to ensure that justice is served. And if someone uses their power and privilege to oppress and marginalize others, there should be clear consequences following legal and other appropriate means for reform and justice." I wonder about this. He goes on to talk about humiliation not being okay, but I also wonder if he thinks that posting the videos at all is creating the problem. What exactly are the "appropriate means" of seeking justice? He doesn't clarify except to specify legal means--lawsuits, legal reform? What if the video is posted and no one makes any death threats, people just talk about how much of an outrage it is?
He does not make this assertion. If anything, he explicitly states that we should show compassion for everyone.
 

foreverbull

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He does not make this assertion. If anything, he explicitly states that we should show compassion for everyone.
He refers to mob mentality, talks about the social media power/influence ruining lives of Karens and their families and then ends the article with "but sometimes Karens are just being rude, irritable, or selfish. Perhaps we can ask ourselves how we can approach them...."

This doesn't sound like a call for empathy for folks who are on the receiving end of racism and are reacting.
 

WisNeuro

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He refers to mob mentality, talks about the social media power/influence ruining lives of Karens and their families and then ends the article with "but sometimes Karens are just being rude, irritable, or selfish. Perhaps we can ask ourselves how we can approach them...."

This doesn't sound like a call for empathy for folks who are on the receiving end of racism and are reacting.
Considering that that was not the point of the article, he does not need to explicitly state that above and beyond the call for civility and compassion towards all.
 

foreverbull

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Considering that that was not the point of the article, he does not need to explicitly state that above and beyond the call for civility and compassion towards all.
Considering that Plante made it EXPLICITLY clear that Karens need empathy in this article, I"m not sure why he couldn't also be bothered to mention that folks who've experienced racism and respond online with vitriol should be worthy of empathy as well.
 

WisNeuro

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Considering that Plante made it EXPLICITLY clear that Karens need empathy in this article, I"m not sure why he couldn't also be bothered to mention that folks who've experienced racism and respond online with vitriol should be worthy of empathy as well.
He made it explicitly clear everyone needs empathy and compassion, simply put. He also wants us to consider what happens when we engage in the behavior that we are accusing others of. Which was, the entire point of the article. There is nothing in that article that states, hints, assumes, or otherwise, that the victims of racism are not worthy of that empathy.
 

beginner2011

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He made it explicitly clear everyone needs empathy and compassion, simply put. He also wants us to consider what happens when we engage in the behavior that we are accusing others of. Which was, the entire point of the article. There is nothing in that article that states, hints, assumes, or otherwise, that the victims of racism are not worthy of that empathy.
I think that's related to the primary issue many have with the post, though, isn't it? He basically pays no attention to the victims of racism other than to scold them and tell them to be nice.
 

foreverbull

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He made it explicitly clear everyone needs empathy and compassion, simply put. He also wants us to consider what happens when we engage in the behavior that we are accusing others of. Which was, the entire point of the article. There is nothing in that article that states, hints, assumes, or otherwise, that the victims of racism are not worthy of that empathy.
I think the point of the article is to call out online shaming, mob mentality, etc. that publicly calls out the "Karens" and to encourage folks to be more empathic toward the "Karens" by discussing social psych concepts. I don't agree that he doesn't need to make it explicit that folks on the "reacting" end deserve the same attention and empathy and that we should just assume he thinks they deserve the same empathy given the content of the article and how it was written.
 

WisNeuro

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I think that's related to the primary issue many have with the post, though, isn't it? He basically pays no attention to the victims of racism other than to scold them and tell them to be nice.
He does not scold them at all. He brings up an important point of reconciliation and restorative justice. Which, if we are truly interested in shaping more equitable and proactive behaviors, is actually the empirically supported method of engendering that change, as opposed to threatening someone's life or credentials.
 

WisNeuro

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I think the point of the article is to call out online shaming, mob mentality, etc. that publicly calls out the "Karens" and to encourage folks to be more empathic toward the "Karens" by discussing social psych concepts. I don't agree that he doesn't need to make it explicit that folks on the "reacting" end deserve the same attention and empathy and that we should just assume he thinks they deserve the same empathy given the content of the article and how it was written.
I disagree that the article needs to address every side. By that argument, we would be attacking articles that support the victims of the Karens called out here for not portraying their side either, it simply was not the point of the written piece. We can definitely disagree here about whether or not he needs to. That's fine. But take a look at that article and Plante's twitter feed. If we pick battles and look for enemies, real or imagined, among people who are allies, even imperfect, well then, let's see how well that works out for the goals of social justice.
 

AbnormalPsych

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This doesn't sound like a call for empathy for folks who are on the receiving end of racism and are reacting.
What. But, this was not what the purpose of this short article was even about....

I think that's related to the primary issue many have with the post, though, isn't it? He basically pays no attention to the victims of racism other than to scold them and tell them to be nice.
I did not see any scolding. Also, again, the victims were not the intended topic of the piece. He was looking at another component in a brief format.


Tone deaf, misguided, not nuanced, sure, but that is different.
 
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