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The Source

  • It is not surprising that racist parties, even when overtly and daily engaging in discrimination or in incitement to racial hatred, are not prohibited as criminal organizations. They are very useful as political or social boundaries of the consensus, as scapegoats for general racism, and as occasions for face-saving. Similarly, by ignoring the many forms of everyday discrimination and racism, also in elite institutions, the media may level occasional accusations against individuals who have too clearly broken the consensus, as in cases of overt discrimination by business corporations.

What is the meaning of the bolded text?

  • 1
    Not, bald, Bavyan, bolded text. – Lambie Feb 2 '18 at 18:22
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    The assumption is that there is a consensus (regarding exactly how extreme an organisation's widely-publicised position can be before nearly everyone agrees that organisation must be legally banned). Obviously at least some people (specifically including those who support some extremely racist group) fall outside that consensus (they're "beyond, outside" the majority position). So what the text is saying is that we can use the way society at large reacts to extremist groups to identify more accurately exactly where the "limits of social/political acceptability" lie. – FumbleFingers Feb 2 '18 at 18:24
  • (political or social) boundaries... (oil or latex) paint. (hot or cold) water. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 2 '18 at 19:38
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    Most of the time you can ignore spatial metaphors for complex, non-spatial things. ;) The author is writing about so-called "fringe" groups who are "on the margins" of society, and how, paradoxically, they can be useful when it comes to prolonging institutional and systemic racism, useful to those who would perpetuate the status quo. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 2 '18 at 19:46
  • This means limit that we set here in our society so that people have some boundaries and they don't trespass that. – JiteshNK Feb 3 '18 at 6:06

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