or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Welcome to Mothering! › Site Help › Racism and Classism at MDC
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Racism and Classism at MDC

post #1 of 251
Thread Starter 
Forgive me if this topic has already been broached but I have been noticing an appalling amount of -isms here at MDC. This is a community I presume, for all mamas, including those who are marginalized by society IRL. I, personally, don't feel they should have to come here and be marginalized as well.

What is being done about this? What can be done about this?

Frankly, it kind of shocks me that a community so steeped in positive love for their children could have prejudice brewing beneath it.
post #2 of 251
Sheena this would involve you pointing out exactly what statements and members you are referring to. So please compile a list of examples and email it to me for review and not just from the one thread that you participated in with the same sentiment. If it is truly a boardwide issue I need to see it from more than that one discussion.

administrator@mothering.com

Thanks!
post #3 of 251
Thread Starter 
Thank you Cynthia!!! I will start keeping track. I appreciate you getting back to me so fast, I feel better just knowing someone cares, lol.
post #4 of 251
I care! It's rampant here, but not as bad as it used to be IMO. I was away for a while so I may have missed some new guidelines or discussion of how to deal. What I come across much more is very subtle stuff that is steeped in prejudice but hard to point out and name exactly, kwim?
post #5 of 251

I'll look for an email from you.
post #6 of 251
post #7 of 251
Okay - what would be the appropriate way to handle this? Label the person a whatever-ist and shame them in a public thread? Ban them? Delete the "subtle" stuff to wipe it out?

My desire for the community as a whole and for those who come here to join us as new members would be that we educate them with discussion. Talk about the issue, explain what they are obviously ignorant about, make them aware. That is what discussion is all about.

We get more out of educating and informing than we do out of labeling those who are voicing any sort of -ism. I'm not a fan of 'outing' people.

I prefer to assume they really don't understand what they are talking about and that what they may view as a reason is exposing a prejudice or -ism they hold. Now I could point it out with a "that is so racist and classist to say that! It disgusts me" and make them feel defensive, setting the discussion stage of the thread for a downward spiral. Or I can take the time to help them look at their words and see how they are wrong, explain the other side of the picture that they are obviously missing. And perhaps they can better explain themselves and I may learn something in the process too.

That's me and that's basically what I expect from MDC as a discussion community. But of course if there are outright statements being made with persistence by a member, being advocated through repetitive posting then it is an issue I would take up with them and not allow to continue.
post #8 of 251
Gemini, you posted beffore I got my post up. Care to elaborate?
post #9 of 251
it's the car seat thread in TAO, but IMO the racism is being misunderstood. The OP said someone pretended that they couldn't understand her by saying "speak english". So it was an anonymous person that was using racism against her.

at least that is the way I read it
post #10 of 251
Oh, I just was sad that someone thought this of here thats all. I guess I don't venture into the places that have this or am not bright enough to see it. : But I'm bummed others see it.

eta that reading Ard's post it makes sense now. I did read that thread. I'm quick I tell ya. :
post #11 of 251
Well, I have a question, but I really don't want to sound challenging or defensive. My question is, is there a difference between racism that is rooted in hatred, and racism that is rooted in lack of information/experience (in other words: ignorance?) And if there is a difference, should there be a difference in the way we address it? Personally, I don't see hatred in the voices of the mamas at MDC. Sometimes ignorance, yes. But I know that I appreciate being treated with a little charity -- being given the benefit of the doubt with regard to my intentions -- it opens up the possibility for change and growth in the way that I think about things.
post #12 of 251
Thread Starter 
Cynthia, I see what you are saying and perhaps you are right that saying "this disgusts me" is not the best way. I am guilty of that, I'll admit it. The reason that tends to be my first response is because I am kind of tired of trying to educate people who don't feel they have said anything wrong. You can go round and round with some folks and they will never understand what racism truly is. But, I also don't know if I necessarily feel grown women should be handled with kid gloves on this subject.

Take for instance the thread where I just said I was disgusted. So, it has been widely agreed in thread that Hispanics don't use carseats and that that is acceptable in their culture. IMO that is racist despite the fact that many people chimed in to say "Yes, I was in blah-blah and I saw that too." What if a Latina mom were to come here on her first visit to MDC and read that without there being any dissent in thread?

I guess I am not usre how I think it should be handled but I really think it is a problem here and I worry that there are moms who are lurking and feeling really low about some of the things they are reading.
post #13 of 251
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Arduinna
it's the car seat thread in TAO, but IMO the racism is being misunderstood. The OP said someone pretended that they couldn't understand her by saying "speak english". So it was an anonymous person that was using racism against her.

at least that is the way I read it
Sorry, but using racism against her? That's kind of an oxymoron isn't it? I don't mean to be sarcastic but really, it isn't an anti-racist persons job to mind the feelings of someone who says something blatantly racist or classist. It's hard for me to believe that someone here could not know that "Speak English!" is both of those.

I will admit, as I already have, that maybe I was harsh in thread but I still believe my point is valid.
post #14 of 251
Sheena, I hear what your saying (I know it wasn't directed as me) but it seems that as long as it's just someones opinion it's allowed??
post #15 of 251
Sheena, maybe I didn't understand the OP?? But if as I understand it someone was being racist against her, what are mad about??

I mean ya it sucks. But it wasn't someone here that was telling her to "speak english". It was a woman in a minivan. Or are you saying that the OP shouldn't have posted that someone else was racist to her??

edited to add, do you think the OP told someone to speak english?? because that isn't the way I understood it happened.
post #16 of 251
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Arduinna
Sheena, I hear what your saying (I know it wasn't directed as me) but it seems that as long as it's just someones opinion it's allowed??
Do you mean even if someone's opinion is racist? I'm not totally sure but I think this board does have standards and I guess that would be for Cynthia to decide.
post #17 of 251
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Arduinna
Sheena, maybe I didn't understand the OP?? But if as I understand it someone was being racist against her, what are mad about??

I mean ya it sucks. But it wasn't someone here that was telling her to "speak english". It was a woman in a minivan. Or are you saying that the OP shouldn't have posted that someone else was racist to her??

edited to add, do you think the OP told someone to speak english?? because that isn't the way I understood it happened.
No. What I am seeing in that thread is some general agreement that if you live in America you need to get with the program and speak English and that it is OK in Hispanic cultures to endanger the life of your child by not using a carseat.
post #18 of 251
Quote:
Originally posted by Cynthia Mosher
Now I could point it out with a "that is so racist and classist to say that! It disgusts me" and make them feel defensive, setting the discussion stage of the thread for a downward spiral. Or I can take the time to help them look at their words and see how they are wrong, explain the other side of the picture that they are obviously missing. And perhaps they can better explain themselves and I may learn something in the process too.

I'm basically in agreement with the latter approach. It's what I try to do in my daily life. But when I come across really strong racism/classism, etc it's usually not worth the energy to get into a heated debate with someone who is not open to learning. In that instance I don't think that member should be allowed to continue to post until they start to listen to what's being said. there has to be some bottom line. But I haven't personally come across any such poster lately.

It is too bad that isms exist here, but prejudice is in the world, everywhere. I don't believe you can set up an "ideal" community and it not still pop up. It's how it's dealt with that matters.
post #19 of 251
maybe she will post an undate of the recent rule changes that allow for opinion that are offensive.
post #20 of 251
I have noticed some things that made me cringe. However, I don't see them being said in a malicious manner, just out of ignorance. And ignorance begs for education.

I think a good thing to do, when one notices such things, might be:
  • start a new thread
  • stay non-confrontational
  • do not refer to the original thread
  • use a "did you know" approach
  • remain gentle
  • understand that you have an opportunity to help others learn, but know that loud noises lead to closed doors.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Site Help
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Welcome to Mothering! › Site Help › Racism and Classism at MDC