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How does this message board deal with racism?

racism June 2014 Board Blowup The Argument

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#1 Balderdash

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:01 AM

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To say that I am stunned by recent events where a poster called our (US) African American President "the boy" and another poster pointed out that that term is clearly, blatantly a racist term and was then sanctioned for pointing that out, would be an understatement.  I would like to know how this board stands on the issue of racism and what we as members are allowed to do to handle such an affront to any moral persons sensibilities.  It takes a lot to outrage me anymore but I am there right now.  So please, explain, with all due respect.

And just to be perfectly clear, I'm not asking for ANY sanctions on anybody.

Edited by Balderdash, 11 June 2014 - 12:01 PM.

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#2 Omega

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:26 AM

Seconded. If there's a policy here, it's not at all clear. Especially since others, myself included, have also referred to that statement as racist, and were not sanctioned.

Edited by Omega, 11 June 2014 - 11:27 AM.


#3 EChatty

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 12:47 PM

Ideally, this sounds like something LoP should weigh in on so that everyone knows where we stand.

My personal opinion is this though:

Don't make racist comments at all. If you see that someone else has made racist comments then please report the comments to the forum moderator(s), along with your reasons as to why you think the comment(s) are racist. Then let them handle it and don't get yourself into hot water with public accusations.

#4 Godeskian

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 01:34 PM

View PostBalderdash, on 11 June 2014 - 11:01 AM, said:

To say that I am stunned by recent events where a poster called our (US) African American President "the boy" and another poster pointed out that that term is clearly, blatantly a racist term and was then sanctioned for pointing that out, would be an understatement.

Can I just point out, for the sake of those of us who do not share your US cultural baggage when it comes to slavery, or terms associated with it, that I had never actually heard of 'boy' being a racist term towards black people until it came up in the thread under discussion.

Disrespectful as hell, sure, I'll give you that. Racist? That's actually new to me.

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#5 Anakam

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 01:49 PM

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 01:34 PM, said:

View PostBalderdash, on 11 June 2014 - 11:01 AM, said:

To say that I am stunned by recent events where a poster called our (US) African American President "the boy" and another poster pointed out that that term is clearly, blatantly a racist term and was then sanctioned for pointing that out, would be an understatement.

Can I just point out, for the sake of those of us who do not share your US cultural baggage when it comes to slavery, or terms associated with it, that I had never actually heard of 'boy' being a racist term towards black people until it came up in the thread under discussion.

Disrespectful as hell, sure, I'll give you that. Racist? That's actually new to me.

My google search was swamped by stories from last year about Gov. Christie using the term, but I agree with the connotations given in this link ('boy' is about halfway down):
http://racerelations...ered-Racist.htm

Hopefully someone else can provide a more detailed citation and background.  For my part, I'll say this about the term: I saw red when I read the post.  I am not the easiest person to get angry.

BTW I thought the new rules still prohibited making racist comments.

Edited by Anakam, 11 June 2014 - 01:51 PM.


#6 Balderdash

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 01:50 PM

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 01:34 PM, said:

View PostBalderdash, on 11 June 2014 - 11:01 AM, said:

To say that I am stunned by recent events where a poster called our (US) African American President "the boy" and another poster pointed out that that term is clearly, blatantly a racist term and was then sanctioned for pointing that out, would be an understatement.

Can I just point out, for the sake of those of us who do not share your US cultural baggage when it comes to slavery, or terms associated with it, that I had never actually heard of 'boy' being a racist term towards black people until it came up in the thread under discussion.

Disrespectful as hell, sure, I'll give you that. Racist? That's actually new to me.

I find it hard to believe that a US person would have any doubt what-so-ever that the term "boy" is a demeaning, racist term.

Another Democrat leaning Independent that has to search for truth because it can't be found on Fox News OR MSNBC.



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#7 Balderdash

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 01:55 PM

View PostEChatty, on 11 June 2014 - 12:47 PM, said:

Ideally, this sounds like something LoP should weigh in on so that everyone knows where we stand.

My personal opinion is this though:

Don't make racist comments at all. If you see that someone else has made racist comments then please report the comments to the forum moderator(s), along with your reasons as to why you think the comment(s) are racist. Then let them handle it and don't get yourself into hot water with public accusations.

Right now I'm still angry at the way you people treat us and the way that you guys have treated Nonny, not right.  But I guess I'll either have to leave this board or put up with it.  So, what you, Echatty, are saying, in your moderator opinion we should wait 8 or 9 days for someone to do something about a stain like racism to be handled?  I'm not going to wait any days.  So go get LoP.

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#8 EChatty

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:07 PM

Baldy, the 8 days passed because there was confusion about what the OT moderators could or couldn't do since the GLs were simplified. It was being discussed behind the scenes and they had to wait for LoP to be able to come in and tell them what tools they still had. When he did so, that was when the action was taken. That was explained in the other thread, so I'm not going to get into it here as well. Mikoto said that was why it took the eight days and that from now on situations like that will be handled much more promptly.

But it seems that no one read that part.

And I would appreciate it if you would not put words in my post that were never there.

#9 Balderdash

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:16 PM

View PostEChatty, on 11 June 2014 - 02:07 PM, said:

Baldy, the 8 days passed because there was confusion about what the OT moderators could or couldn't do since the GLs were simplified. It was being discussed behind the scenes and they had to wait for LoP to be able to come in and tell them what tools they still had. When he did so, that was when the action was taken. That was explained in the other thread, so I'm not going to get into it here as well. Mikoto said that was why it took the eight days and that from now on situations like that will be handled much more promptly.

But it seems that no one read that part.

And I would appreciate it if you would not put words in my post that were never there.

I'm not really reopening the 8 day thing but it does matter because perception is everything.  Even though the 8 days has been explained the perception of the 8 days made us all feel like we were doing ok.  I think that the racism issue needed to be handled right away and pointing out that a word is racist doesn't mean the person who pointed it out is calling anyone a racist, mind boggling...  Making simple posts that tell us that you guys are aware and that you are going to handle it would go a long way.  But like I said I'm not really reopening that, I want something definitive on the racism thing.

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#10 EChatty

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:22 PM

And that is what I said in my first post, which you came back and brought up the eight days yourself, implying that's what I was also saying. If you read what I said we should do (and I'm waiting for LoP to show up and confirm, deny or add to it) then you'll see I only suggested that concerns of racism be reported to the moderator of whatever forum it happens in and then let them take care of it. Nowhere did I imply that it would take eight days.

#11 Balderdash

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:25 PM

View PostEChatty, on 11 June 2014 - 02:22 PM, said:

And that is what I said in my first post, which you came back and brought up the eight days yourself, implying that's what I was also saying. If you read what I said we should do (and I'm waiting for LoP to show up and confirm, deny or add to it) then you'll see I only suggested that concerns of racism be reported to the moderator of whatever forum it happens in and then let them take care of it. Nowhere did I imply that it would take eight days.

Ya know, I need to apologize to you, EChatty, because you were very prompt to answer and I shouldn't have used the 8 day thing on you, you didn't deserve it.

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#12 Godeskian

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:35 PM

View PostBalderdash, on 11 June 2014 - 01:50 PM, said:

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 01:34 PM, said:

View PostBalderdash, on 11 June 2014 - 11:01 AM, said:

To say that I am stunned by recent events where a poster called our (US) African American President "the boy" and another poster pointed out that that term is clearly, blatantly a racist term and was then sanctioned for pointing that out, would be an understatement.

Can I just point out, for the sake of those of us who do not share your US cultural baggage when it comes to slavery, or terms associated with it, that I had never actually heard of 'boy' being a racist term towards black people until it came up in the thread under discussion.

Disrespectful as hell, sure, I'll give you that. Racist? That's actually new to me.

I find it hard to believe that a US person would have any doubt what-so-ever that the term "boy" is a demeaning, racist term.

As I said, I am not a US person. Nor are a substantial fraction of people on this board. It is unrealistic to assume on an international board with many members not from your particular cultural background will share your instinctive state of offense at a term that is largely meaningless in the UK, and for that matter in the Netherlands.

I'm not commenting one way or the other on LotS's use of the phrase, I am saying that your defacto assumption that everyone, everywhere would identify it as racist is in error.

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#13 Balderdash

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:52 PM

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 02:35 PM, said:

View PostBalderdash, on 11 June 2014 - 01:50 PM, said:

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 01:34 PM, said:

View PostBalderdash, on 11 June 2014 - 11:01 AM, said:

To say that I am stunned by recent events where a poster called our (US) African American President "the boy" and another poster pointed out that that term is clearly, blatantly a racist term and was then sanctioned for pointing that out, would be an understatement.

Can I just point out, for the sake of those of us who do not share your US cultural baggage when it comes to slavery, or terms associated with it, that I had never actually heard of 'boy' being a racist term towards black people until it came up in the thread under discussion.

Disrespectful as hell, sure, I'll give you that. Racist? That's actually new to me.

I find it hard to believe that a US person would have any doubt what-so-ever that the term "boy" is a demeaning, racist term.

As I said, I am not a US person. Nor are a substantial fraction of people on this board. It is unrealistic to assume on an international board with many members not from your particular cultural background will share your instinctive state of offense at a term that is largely meaningless in the UK, and for that matter in the Netherlands.

I'm not commenting one way or the other on LotS's use of the phrase, I am saying that your defacto assumption that everyone, everywhere would identify it as racist is in error.

Well thanks Gode but that doesn't make the racist comment any less racist or offensive.   What "defacto assumption" are you talking about?  US Americans would know.   I'm afraid I just don't get your issue.

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#14 Spectacles

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:57 PM

The question, really, is this:

Is it forbidden now to point to something a fellow poster writes and say "this is racism"--because that's what happened.

What LoTS said is generally considered racist in the U.S.. LoTS may not have been aware of it. At which point, he could have said, "Oh, I didn't know. Sorry. Thanks. I won't say it again."

That's what grown-ups do when the learn they have used a term that is offensive to someone, not "well it's not an offensive term to me! Get over it." Or something like that.

It's an important point to have clarified.

If someone refers to a gay man as a "sissy," for example, is it wrong to point to that and say "that's homophobia"?

The person may not have intended to say something that is generally insulting to LGBT folks. Can he run to the staff and say "So-and-so called me a homophobe!" and get that person booted from a thread?

Based on Nonny's thread-ban, the answer is yes.

Next question: does this policy promote civility on this board? Because what can be argued from now on is that no one can point to something someone writes and say, "that's _____ism" because that is something staff apparently considers a greater affront to civility than the use--deliberate or innocent--of  language that offends people.

Again, if I accidentally, ignorantly, use a term that offends someone, I apologize and resolve not to do it again--unless I really do want to offend them. I don't go into a howl about how I have been unjustly accused or how the offended party shouldn't be offended because I didn't intend to offend them. My intent makes little difference. The offense was made, accidental though it might have been.

Whether I stepped on someone's toe accidentally or deliberately, their toe still hurts. Civility requires me to acknowledge that offense, explain I didn't intend to give it, and STILL apologize for offending.

Edited by Spectacles, 11 June 2014 - 02:58 PM.

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#15 EChatty

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:58 PM

View PostBalderdash, on 11 June 2014 - 02:25 PM, said:

View PostEChatty, on 11 June 2014 - 02:22 PM, said:

And that is what I said in my first post, which you came back and brought up the eight days yourself, implying that's what I was also saying. If you read what I said we should do (and I'm waiting for LoP to show up and confirm, deny or add to it) then you'll see I only suggested that concerns of racism be reported to the moderator of whatever forum it happens in and then let them take care of it. Nowhere did I imply that it would take eight days.

Ya know, I need to apologize to you, EChatty, because you were very prompt to answer and I shouldn't have used the 8 day thing on you, you didn't deserve it.

Apology accepted, Baldy :)

Feelings are running hot and I've even said things I shouldn't. Had to step away and chill myself just now

#16 Godeskian

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:59 PM

View PostBalderdash, on 11 June 2014 - 02:52 PM, said:

Well thanks Gode but that doesn't make the racist comment any less racist or offensive.   What "defacto assumption" are you talking about?  US Americans would know.   I'm afraid I just don't get your issue.

Let me try again

Quote

To say that I am stunned by recent events where a poster called our (US) African American President "the boy" and another poster pointed out that that term is clearly, blatantly a racist term and was then sanctioned for pointing that out, would be an understatement.

You are using US attitudes to decide that something is 'clearly, blatantly' something. It's provincialism at its worst and I reject the notion that a generic term such as 'boy' is 'clearly and blatantly' anything. It's only so to you because you are familiar with the term.

Or to put it less politely, don't assume everyone has your own background, upbringing and cultural norms when deciding what they should or should not be aware of.

I'm sure there's British and Dutch racist slang that I could use that would sail completely over the heads of yourself and any other Americans here because it's simply not the terms you're used to. That doesn't make it any less racist if I was to do so, but at the same time It would be unreasonable for me to expect that someone raised in a different culture would understand that.

So before you jump on your high horse demanding answers to what is 'clearly and blantantly' something, please make sure it is in fact 'clear and blatant' to everyone involved.

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#17 Godeskian

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:01 PM

View PostSpectacles, on 11 June 2014 - 02:57 PM, said:

Whether I stepped on someone's toe accidentally or deliberately, their toe still hurts. Civility requires me to acknowledge that offense, explain I didn't intend to give it, and STILL apologize for offending.

Agreed. It comes down to 'don't be a dick' to me. I'm just trying to point out that not everyone identifies that point in the same place, and one should be weary of assuming everyone shares your particular viewpoint, or idiosyncratic notions of where that line is.

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#18 EChatty

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:02 PM

View PostSpectacles, on 11 June 2014 - 02:57 PM, said:

The question, really, is this:

Is it forbidden now to point to something a fellow poster writes and say "this is racism"--because that's what happened.

What LoTS said is generally considered racist in the U.S.. LoTS may not have been aware of it. At which point, he could have said, "Oh, I didn't know. Sorry. Thanks. I won't say it again."

That's what grown-ups do when the learn they have used a term that is offensive to someone, not "well it's not an offensive term to me! Get over it." Or something like that.

It's an important point to have clarified.

If someone refers to a gay man as a "sissy," for example, is it wrong to point to that and say "that's homophobia"?

The person may not have intended to say something that is generally insulting to LGBT folks. Can he run to the staff and say "So-and-so called me a homophobe!" and get that person booted from a thread?

Based on Nonny's thread-ban, the answer is yes.

Next question: does this policy promote civility on this board? Because what can be argued from now on is that no one can point to something someone writes and say, "that's _____ism" because that is something staff apparently considers a greater affront to civility than the use--deliberate or innocent--of  language that offends people.

Again, if I accidentally, ignorantly, use a term that offends someone, I apologize and resolve not to do it again--unless I really do want to offend them. I don't go into a howl about how I have been unjustly accused or how the offended party shouldn't be offended because I didn't intend to offend them. My intent makes little difference. The offense was made, accidental though it might have been.

Whether I stepped on someone's toe accidentally or deliberately, their toe still hurts. Civility requires me to acknowledge that offense, explain I didn't intend to give it, and STILL apologize for offending.

That is why I put in my original post in this thread to take such things to the moderators, as that is their job to moderate. If you see something that looks ______ism to you, report it and the moderator will take care of it as soon as they get the message.

Whether that is what LoP feels should be done or not is another question that I'm waiting on an answer for.

#19 Nonny

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:26 PM

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 03:01 PM, said:

View PostSpectacles, on 11 June 2014 - 02:57 PM, said:

Whether I stepped on someone's toe accidentally or deliberately, their toe still hurts. Civility requires me to acknowledge that offense, explain I didn't intend to give it, and STILL apologize for offending.

Agreed. It comes down to 'don't be a dick' to me. I'm just trying to point out that not everyone identifies that point in the same place, and one should be weary of assuming everyone shares your particular viewpoint, or idiosyncratic notions of where that line is.

Fair enough.  I wonder how women named Fanny deal with the recent pejoration of their name, and how it came to be.
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#20 Godeskian

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:30 PM

View PostNonny, on 11 June 2014 - 03:26 PM, said:

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 03:01 PM, said:

View PostSpectacles, on 11 June 2014 - 02:57 PM, said:

Whether I stepped on someone's toe accidentally or deliberately, their toe still hurts. Civility requires me to acknowledge that offense, explain I didn't intend to give it, and STILL apologize for offending.

Agreed. It comes down to 'don't be a dick' to me. I'm just trying to point out that not everyone identifies that point in the same place, and one should be weary of assuming everyone shares your particular viewpoint, or idiosyncratic notions of where that line is.

Fair enough.  I wonder how women named Fanny deal with the recent pejoration of their name, and how it came to be.

Are you aware that 'fanny' means different things in the UK and US? (one being ass, the other being vagina) If not, then it's a good illustration of the point.

Defy Gravity!


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