For all the talk of a post-racial America with the election, there’s a lot of news about the persistence of the most retrograde, even absurdly so, racist stereotypes. Back in January, I wrote about the bakery here in New York that was producing (and selling at a brisk pace) “Drunken Negro” cookies. These cookies featured distorted and caricatured features of President Obama in a truly bizarre racism that the baker tried to pass off as homage. A few months ago, I might have said that this was an isolated incident, but not it looks as if this sort of racism of the absurd is becoming a trend.
Two recent news stories highlight this trend. Again, here in New York, there are two fried chicken outlets that have recently changed their names to “Obama Fried Chicken.” Writing in today’s Chronicle of Higher Ed, John L. Jackson, Jr. correctly notes that:
“Both stores advertise themselves as serving halal food prepared in accordance with Islamic mandates, and some defenders would like to use that fact as a way to let the owners off the hook. These are people of color, the argument goes, serving black communities and trying to express a kind of flat-footed solidarity with their customers. They might have miscalculated. heir strategy might backfire by offending the sensibilities of certain segments of their local communities, but they definitely can’t be equated with KKK-esque attempts to purposefully lampoon Obama by deploying age-old tropes of racial savagery and difference. The latter may be true, but that doesn’t satisfy many residents in those neighborhoods, some of whom have already uploaded their own YouTubed video responses to these new stores.”
Jackson goes on to explain that in one of those neighborhood-created created video responses to these stores, the videographer is “laughing about the utter absurdity of the store’s name.” Jackson concludes by calling this development “crazy.”
My current vote for winner of most absurd expression of racism, is the “Chia Obama” recently pulled from the shelves of Walgreens’ stores in Tampa and Chicago. Walgreens spokesperson Robert Elfinger said, in a telephone interview:
“We got some complaints from people that they thought it was racist.”
Really? Ya, think?
Part of what is happening with the rise in what I’m calling the racism of the absurd is how tone deaf people are about the ways that language and images involving race and racism reverberate in the broader culture. The mere fact of an African American president of the U.S. provides an opportunity for people – of a variety of skin colors and racial/ethnic identities – to have discussions that otherwise might remain in the backstage of private conversation erupt into the frontstage (for more on this, see this post and read, Picca and Feagin, 2008). Thus, what might have seemed funny in a private conversation, suddenly appears absurdly racist in the frontstage.
Thanks for this post. I was pretty disconcerted when I saw the CNN presentation of the “Chia” and almost every white person on the clip minimized the racism of this. The familiar old tropes “this is non-racial” and talk of people being overly sensitive to this kind of material. Some people went as far as to claim it was an honor.
Several people predicted that it would be harder to combat this kind of racism when Obama was elected, and it seems they have been borne out.
I like the idea of “racism of the Absurd” but doesn’t this stuff remind you of the old school racism of cast iron bell-hops and aunt jemima figurines?
I get the fried chicken remark but what about the chia pet?? Please enlighten me as to why this is racist?
Honestly I agree that alot of topics are creating explosions about what racism is, and what is allowable. You could watch any comedy special on tv and here black and white jokes and laugh them off, however Kramer using the N word is a racist moment worth discussion.
I think the biggest problem is that when people make a big deal about the little things such as this chia pet, you take away from the larger scale obvious things that aren’t in the headlines anymore…. Katrina….Police Brutality in Oakland… the actual climate of the Jena situation which is still a broken community after what occured….
I agree that it may be shocking that all of these smaller things are important but need to be put in context to the larger scale racial issues, look at Fox news, the entire hip hop industry’s portrayal. You ever watch how many military recruitment commercials are on BET as opposed to any other channel…..try and count them during an episode of 106 & Park…….
Sorry for the rambling keep up the blog! Check out Monkey Brains, my blog……
Hip Hop mixed with Politics of the world……
Thus, what might have seemed funny in a private conversation, suddenly appears absurdly racist in the frontstage.
Would that it were so! Seems to me that even when the racism of such “humor” is pointed out, the perpetrators almost invariably stand by the humor (calling those who object to it “too sensitive” and so on), instead of trying to understand why others find it absurdly racist.
DM: I dont watch fox news so what about the hip hop industry’s portrayal.
MD: that is why I asked…
I often wonder about the legality of this. I’m pretty sure that Barack Obama did not legally allow someone to use his image in this way. Does being president mean that these types of things are legal? Would it be just as legal for some guy to make Macon D bacon? (I’m just using you, macon d, because macon rhymes with bacon, unless you pronounce it muh-KON, or something.)
Hey folks, thanks for your comments on this post. VictorRay: I didn’t see the CNN coverage of the chia controversy – not surprised at white folks’ reactions. Siss: the chia pet is racist for a couple of reasons that I should have spelled out. First of all, the ‘chia’ is usually referred to as a ‘pet’ (the others by this same maker are various types of animals). Thus, once again the association between blacks and animals serves to dehumanize African Americans. Second, the exaggerated Afro is consistent with the ways that African Americans’ physical characteristics are often caricatured in racist drawings. President Obama’s hair is very closely cropped and doesn’t look a thing like the ‘chia pet,’ and to suggest that he shares any similarities with one is demeaning and, to my view, racist in the sense that it plays on old stereotypes. I hope that clarifies. All that said, I have to agree with you TheDrunkenmonkey, as these sorts of these are so minor in the overall scheme of things as to almost not be worth mentioning, especially when compared to the kinds of things you list. That’s part of why I titled the post the way I did – it’s just absurd. Still, part of what we do here at this blog is chronicle a variety of episodes and incidents of racism, so that’s part of why these two made it onto the blog (and, frankly, this was a short, easy-to-do post and I’m working on a longer, more thoughtful post about something else). I do agree with you, though about their relative importance in the bigger scheme of things. Alston: I’m not sure, but I think that once someone is a public figure there are certain kinds of uses of their image that are within legal limits. You’d have to ask an attorney about that one.
Macon D: Absolutely right, as the makers of the ‘chia pet’ in Obama’s image, as well as the owners of the fried chicken joints, are standing by their particular brand of humor (as is the Greenwich Village baker, by the way). I guess to be more precise I should have said that such humor seems absurdly racist to a wider audience (although not to the creators of it).
Thank you for the clarification Jessie. I can see how the Afro hairstyle could hit a nerve (although it WAS the style at one point in time) however the chia pet modeling animals therefore leading to dehumanization is a big stretch. There were many (and MANY) times Bush, Clinton were poked fun at…but everyones okay with that?? Hmmm…
It seems that the line between “homage” and “parody” is quite blurry for whites.
@siss – That’s because there’s no history of dehumanizing white people for the sake of exploiting them. Rednecks are still considered human, and maybe the Irish were dehumanized for a couple of decades. But this on-going, “less than human actually animal” thing is only attached to Africanness. And what you have to also consider is that as a “pet,” now we’re talking about a way in which this black man goes from being the “single most powerful person in the world” to being something people can own. Just thinking of the pyschology of owning a pet and the psychology of racism, perhaps this extraordinary person who happens to be of African descent is easier to stomach for white people if they can “own” him. That’s just a thought. It only just occured to me.
Also, I don’t remember any Bush or Clinton chia pets. No Bush or Clinton chicken fingers. Does anyone else?
I mean. I’ve heard of a kindergarten boy coloring a picture of Abe Lincoln black because “Pres Obama’s black so all presidents are black.” That’s the impact Pres. Obama’s having a little kids. And adults are reducing him to a cookie? To a chia pet. Full disclosure, I didn’t immediately get the intellectual connection between racism and the chia pet, but a little bell of alarm rang for me. Am I the only person who has an alarm bell that goes off when I see racial imagery, even if I don’t immediately see the connection?
I will say, though, that when it comes to “Bush,” growing up, that’s the term my late grandmother used when referring to a baby having a bowel movement. So, if one of my younger cousins started to stink, you would say, “So-n-so bushed in their diaper.” The first time I heard the word “Bush” related to someone’s name, I laughed and felt sorry for the person. Today, I wonder if anyone else’s grandmother still uses the term and if her toddler grandchildren laugh(ed) when they saw/heard “President Bush.”
Siss, I guess you literally meant that the exact reason why you asked about the racism perceived in the Obama chia was because you were going to “invariably object” and characterize the reasons why “others find it absurdly racist” as evidence of them being “too sensitive” or, in your words, “a big stretch” because, somehow, the idea that the Afro was a “the style at one point in time” — though not the style Obama has sported during this time (the time of his candidacy/presidency) — makes reducing anyone who is Black to any random caricature that’s Black.
To complete my sentence, I meant to say…
“…the idea that the Afro was a “the style at one point in time” . . . makes reducing anyone who is Black to any random caricature that’s “Black” acceptable.”
I guess those chicken and watermelon stereotypes can be classified as acceptable and “not a big stretch” because, like the Afro hairstyle, some Black people at some point in time, if not now, actually do eat chicken and watermelon. That and there just have to be a set of racial stereotypes that are established and agreed on as actual racist stereotypes that we all should be appalled by. Anything not on the list is either not a racist stereotype or must go before the full congress of American opinion to be classified as such.
In full disclosure, I needed to be enlightened on the Obama chia. My initial reaction was more “absurd” than “racist” and so I questioned whether any other president was so “honored” but still figured the offense had to do with the whole “pet” idea. And after being “enlightened” (because this was the first I’ve heard of the Obama chia and didn’t know the whole story behind it), the last thing I can do is argue the point.
Siss mentions Bush and Clinton but fails to point out how they were “poked fun at” to the point of invoking stereotypes about White men, even dehumanizing associations.
“That’s because there’s no history of dehumanizing white people for the sake of exploiting them.” – actually that may be a false generalization. There are long histories of dehumanizing minority ethnic groups (even if white) by the (white) majorities (take for instance European nation-states; or even immigrant groups in the US – think Eastern Europeans). Then there’s the class thing too, dividing the ‘white’ groups, dehumanizing certain people to exploit them (think feudal times, the relation between aristocracy and peasants).
Since the ‘chia’ stuff doesn’t really ring any bell (not part of my everyday life), I think it’s important to describe the context within which something becomes racist (I found the explanation you gave enlightening and convincing for the context you are describing).
Thinkingdifference, you raise a good question about certain European groups, such as the Irish, Italians, and Jews who have been dehumanized in the dominant racial framing, at least for a time in US history (the reference is to the US here). But they were also NOT considered to be white in those periods where they were targeted for discrimination, exploitation, and dehumanization. In some sense, being white, or at least “fully and authenticially white,” does exempt one from racial dehumanization and exploitation in the US case….But not from class or gender oppression.
Thanks Joe. That’s pretty much what I meant. I know that even in the US, certain white ethnic groups were dehumanized for a time, but not the ongoing sort that blacks have experienced. All the ethnic groups at some point became “white.” Blacks are still working on that same sort of equality – not that we want to be “white.”
@thinking difference – I appreciate your willingness to think things out. I’m will be on thinking just for thinking’s sake. Not joking. I feel a lot of the unconscious racism could be undone if white people would only think about some of the things they say and do.
That said, take my comments about “owning Obama” with a grain of salt. Of course, it makes sense to me and I think I’m on to something. But I haven’t had time to really think it out.
If whites need to “think” about unconscience “rasism”, isn’t fair to say POC need be a little less sensitive? *braces herself*
Ok Jessie, you need to explain something here. Mr. T. requested this company to create a Chia Mr. T back in 2000 in conjuction with with a TV Land promotion.
If Mr. T saw no problem with this, why should anyone else?
“Want to know how to annoy a liberal? Use logic!”
I’m not sure where you get the idea that POC ‘need to be a little less sensitive,’ siss. In my experience, POC do everything in their power to not interpret things as racism. For lots more evidence of this, read Feagin & Sykes’ Living with Racism, in which they interviewed hundreds and hundreds of middle-class black Americans about their experiences with racism. Over and over again, people report seeing something that might be racist and trying to find some other interpretation of the facts. Dallas Cowboy, despite the humorous ending to your comment (good one!) – I assume that you’re asking a serious question, so I’ll answer it. There are a couple of differences between Mr. T requesting a chia-likeness of himself and the Obama chia. The first has to do with self-determination (Mr. T requested it); the second has to do with the legacy of minstrel shows. Just because a black person chooses to make a fool out of himself doesn’t mean that he’s not playing to the racist stereotypes of his predominantly white audience.
@Dallas Cowboy – Because not everybody thinks like Mr. T.
@siss- No, no, no, no, no. I once read a study of the things white people say and believe among themselves. The study’s titled, “I’m Not A Racist, But . . .” Have you read it? Give it a look over. This one white guy, albeit college age but I can make my point, said this –
“Their mothers were gone all the time, so they’d stayout and play all day. If they wanted something, they’d go out and steal it. Um, theydon’t have the money to have a lawn mower, so they can’t mow yards like I did. ”
He was saying two things –
1 – the mothers were gone all day
2 – they didn’t have money to have a lawn mower
Ok. Let’s think. What would explain the mother being gone all day andtheir lack of money? We know that single mother headed homes don’t have the money that two-parent homes have. We know black women on average (so no comments about knowing lots of black women who make waymore) make less than white women. So, might the mother have been gone because she didn’t have a lot of money and so had to work more than a full time job?
Yes, her absense explains the lack of discipline. But it’s not because black people intrisincally lack discipline and morals. It’s because the mother was having a hard time making ends meet.
I’ll confess that I didn’t use the right word. But, by “unconscious,” I didn’t mean the way a person can be hypnotized. I meant the things they think and say but don’t really think about.
Regardless, black people can be sensitive just like if you accidently step on my foot, it hurts just as much as if you intentially step on my foot. To be clear, in both cases, you apply the same force.
To make things clear, here’s an exercise in what I mean by thinking. Now, I’ve only been posting here on a consistant basis the past few days. If you read my comments, you’ll notice that they, whether you agree or disagree, are well thought out and when necessary, I do refer to a book or a study. With that in mind, did you really think I was meant “unconscious” the way we use “subconscious,” and/or I’d be unprepared for your question? That I didn’t have something clearer in mind? Now, now. Don’t get me wrong. You can’t read my mind. But considering some other comments I’ve left, do you really think it would be that easy to poke a hole in my argument?
Or, were you, being an apologist, perhaps looking for any chance to punch and thought you had found a weak spot?
And honestly, wouldn’t you have to say that it’s this “unconscious” racism that’s the most dangerous? It’s these beliefs, that aren’t “hateful” and violent, that lead to a disparity in arrests and sentencing for the same crimes; a disparity in hiring and pay; a disparity in the provision of health care; etc and so on. So why shouldn’t minorities be sensitive? Sure, when you consider the disparity in pre-natal healthcare, something like a chia pet seems really dumb. But when you think about it, if someone thought it was okay to make a chia pet of Obama without his permission, can you imagine what like minded people think when they say a pregnant black woman that then effects the care they give her?
Here’s another exercise in thinking. Should Dallas Cowboy (back to you, DC) really think that just because Mr. T asked for chia pets to be made in his image for promotion of a TV show on of all channel, TV Land, that that makes all subsequent chia pets made in the image of an African American ok?
See? A lot of things can be avoided if people would just think.
The chia pet is in poor taste but calling it racist is a stretch. This is not surprising though coming from a couple of white guys (authors of this blog). Your hearts seem to be in the right place but your brains, well…that is another story. I’ll bet the folks complaining about the chia at the stores were white too. Do you realize you hinder any real racial discussion in this country with this extreme political correctness? If you want to discuss racism, why not ask why Obama is submissive to the One Drop Rule? He has said society chose “black” for him and I know this to be true because society tries to choose it for me. All of white America seems to be in agreement. What underlying reasons do whites have for eagerly accepting Obama as black only? If you want to ‘review racism’, write about something real.
kSTATE: I’m just going by what you said. I don’t have the time nor the interest to “poke holes” in your argument….I’ll leave that to someone else, what I am doing is leaving my response – my dialogue. As for the example of stepping on someone’s foot, no, the force is NOT the same. Unconscious and intentional racism are two different kinds of hurts.
But back to topic….
You’re not interested in poking holes? Just making smart-alekky responses? Cause, and I could admittedly preferential, you have to be looking to poke holes to read/understand my comment the way you did. Cause, like you said, it is hard to think about what you’re unaware of.
For the purposes of my argument, I’m saying the force was equal both times. But if you don’t think that’s a fair analogy, lets “dialogue.”
And again, by “unconscious” I don’t mean some deep down belief it’s hard to get at, I mean the contradictory beliefs they articulate all the time.
I mean the things they believe that lead to people receiving unequal heathcare, though they pay the same. I’m talking about the beliefs that lead to academic discrimination; employment discrimination; housing discrimination.
Take the fact that people of color pay more for mortgages. What difference does it make if someone raises the rate, despite the downpayment, credit score, and income, with the intention of causing people to pay more and the someone who raises the rate just because to them, black people are more likely to default, despite the downpayment, credit score, and income. What I’m saying is that if white people would actually think about what they say/believe – like you have to charge black people more for a loan because they’re more likely to default AND black people don’t care about their homes, they’d realize the incongruency of their beliefs. Maybe black people would spend more money on their homes if they didn’t have to pay more on their mortgages.
Then, of course, you could argue that people don’t know that black people pay more. But when you try to tell them, they say it’s not true. Then when you show them the facts, they say, “of course you charge black people more, they don’t care about their homes. they’re more likely to default” And if white people would think a lot of stuff could be dealt with.
***says – I think racismreview is right to address the chia pet issue. It’s a symptom of a larger issue. I could go on, but I’ll just say rr did say the ordeal is “absurd.”
But, I have to say I disagree that political correctness is hurting the discussion on race. Can white people not talk about race without being insensitive? Or, maybe, it’s white people who are overly sensitive to being criticized for making racist statements? Either way, I don’t think political correctness hurts a real discussion on race. Though, I will agree that because white people seem to be so anxious not to talk about race and will find any excuse not to talk about race, they will complain about political correctness instead of having a discussion about race.
Unconscious and intentional racism are two different kinds of hurts.
According to what? To whom?
Racial discrimination in employment:
Tell me the difference between a bigot who intentionally discriminates and refuses to hire “one of them” and a person with unconscious biases that just so happens to result in not hiring “one of them.”
Where is the difference in outcomes (i.e. unhired “hurt”) in those cases where the intent or conscious awareness is different?
“Two different kinds of hurts” was meant to signify the degree of hurt. While some issues need to be dealt with, others, like a chia pet, do not. This just one more example of how the issue of race becomes marginalized when people try to relate every little aspect of life to race, obscuring the bigger picture. And you know what happened with the little boy cried wolf too many times….Getting bogged down with nitpicking only hinders the cause. Isn’t the focus of the topic of “race” to identify, correct and heal? We have identified and for the most part corrected…. Now when can healing occur? No society is perfect; America in particular… but COME ON. This is beyond silly. This seems like someone is just looking for something to complain about.
If people look hard enough, they will find…..
Your “boy that cried wolf” analogy is as revealing as it is inaccurate. Then you erect the false choices — false because you obviously did not present them in earnest.
The first stage you presented was the “identify” stage. Well, that certainly wasn’t an earnest suggestion because you have dismissed the effort here to “identify” (and, consequently, the opportunity to “correct”) all because of the mythical “bigger picture” rhetoric which, of course, is all compounded by your “cry wolf” rhetoric.
The little boy that cried wolf, of course, was perhaps someone you would classify as “looking for something to complain about.” And, of course, the message you want to get across, fallacious as it is, as apologetic as it is (“No society is perfect” = you have to excuse said imperfections — an admission the contradicts your “cry wolf” rhetoric)… the message you’re trying to get across “ya’ll complain too much” or, more precisely, “ya’ll complain about every little thing.”
Of course, those little things, those little imperfections are supposed to be ignored and, as a result, remain unidentified. The “healing”, the pretentious offer of “healing”, somehow is supposed to occur with those ignoring blinders on because of some “bigger picture” idea you’ve yet to articulate and, by focusing “healing”, it’s obvious that your concern is not with the “correction.” No, you’ve clearly expressed your desire to by-pass that since “We have identified and for the most part corrected…”
Complete correction, even complete eradication of what you think “we have corrected” is apparently out of the question. How exactly you think “healing” can begin, much less be completed, in situation like that is beyond anything worthy of being called reason…
As far as what you “meant” to say… It was very clear. You specifically made your “two different kinds of hurts” remark in response to No1kstate’s intentional vs. unintentional “stepping on someone’s foot” analogy and you said exactly this:
“As for the example of stepping on someone’s foot, no, the force is NOT the same.”
You were clearly making the argument that “intent” somehow matters. Both No1kstate and I presented examples were intent doesn’t matter. Those were also examples were the “hurt” wouldn’t differ one bit or in any degree.
As for your “obscuring the bigger picture” idea… Now that’s beyond silly. Jessie was clear in how he related the chia pet and Obama chicken “isolated incidents” to the bigger picture when he said people are tone deaf… about the ways that language and images involving race and racism reverberate in the broader culture.”
As for your “hinders the cause” notion… QUESTION: Hinder the cause WITH WHOM?
Answer that then present the historical evidence to support your claim. But before you do that, please specify what “THE CAUSE” is and how it relates to this idea of it being hindered.
This is typical rhetoric that tries to give “THE CAUSE” a mission it never necessarily had. So, yes, Siss… please tell us what “THE CAUSE” is. So far, you’ve communicated that, since no society is perfect and since, in your curious view, everything has been corrected “for the most part”… Well, it’s time to be done with trying to identify or correct anything else. Let’s “heal” (prematurely=not at all).
Nquest – you are a bad, bad boy. I’m with you on hindering the cause “with whom.” Historically, white people have looked for and used every reason in the book to not have to make a full account of racism. By “healing” they clearly don’t mean living in a “just” and “equal” society. What they mean (notwithstanding whatever Siss means) is when we’re silent about the racist things they say and do. Personally, I probably wouldn’t say boo if the “big picture” included justice or if we really were, together, working towards equality; but acts such as these, I feel, are symptomatic of the problem with the “big picture.” I completely agree with Jessie in regards to how this absurd incidence relate to society at large. If things were at a place of “healing” there’d be more black people working at places like the NYPost, that NY bakery, and the chia-pet producers, we’d see a lot less of this stuff, if any. Out of several black people, at least one would’ve raised concerns about the chia Obama. And for the fried chicken place, (1) my guess is that the owners, while people of color, aren’t black and (2) we see the response of a community that has economic leverage.
… the cause is all in the eye of the beholder. It varies from person to person. For some, there is no cause because they feel we live in a post-racial society. For others, it’s a gradual process of correcting-identifying-healing, always recognizing the accomplishments we have made thus far. And still others, who wallow in self pity and blame others for their shortcomings, feel that we have never really begun.
**moving on to next topic** 🙂
You left out the group who works hard and has success and recognizes the big issues we still face.
I haven’t been on your site for a little while, but thank you for this post. I had a confused look when I saw the chia pet commercial. I kept waiting for it to be some weird joke, but no, at the end it wasn’t. I felt offended and weirded out by it. I’m White and felt it was racist and just wrong.
…the cause is all in the eye of the beholder. It varies from person to person.
Siss, your statement is now even more problematic. If “THE CAUSE” differs from person to person then your statement doesn’t make sense. Your statement makes even less sense when you mention people who don’t believe there is a cause for they are irrelevant to the idea you tried to communicate when you said:
Getting bogged down with nitpicking only hinders the cause.
Again, I ask you WHAT IS “THE CAUSE”?
Note: I’m not asking “some people” or “others”, I’m asking YOU. You said it and I’m asking you to explain what you said/meant.
Also, your statement can only make sense when YOU believe there is a consensus as to what “THE CAUSE” is within the group you’re addressing. In fact, your statement functions as if you’ve established such a consensus with the people/person you’re addressing. That, or you were hoping you could influence the way the people/person you were addressing by viewed the so-called “nitpicking” by raising the specter of the hindered, hampered “CAUSE” you obviously believe they care about.
So, naturally, your TYPICAL (like verbatim, done seen so much it’s like “too numerous to mention) White framing, TYPICAL thinly-veiled threat via the fallacious “you don’t want to hindered THE CAUSE, do you?” type of framing has to be predicated on what you think the other person(s) value as you present yourself as a person who values “THE CAUSE”, the SAME CAUSE they do, to the same degree they do if not more since you’re aware of what “hinders” THE CAUSE.
Your framing is presented as if you have a definitive perspective on what THE CAUSE is. So, please be so kind as to tell us what THE CAUSE is. Then and only then can we tell if said “nitpicking” will “hinder” it and with WHOM because you would have to identify what the “nitpicking” does to all those contributing to THE CAUSE.
Your “moving on” is also TYPICAL. As typical as your games are transparent. 🙂
The only thing that is typical is your paranoia. I’m not out to get you or your beliefs, but your defensiveness, along with other posters, signals your distress. That’s why I have moved on Nquest. I do not engage with people who can’t handle and maintain a calm and mature discussion. Call it what you will…
Yeah right, Siss. Nobody’s been defensive or distressed. You just know this is an argument you’ve lost. That’s why you can’t answer the questions.