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Racism and Classism at MDC - Page 3

post #41 of 251
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by SoHappy
Let's take it in the same way we take comments about spanking or circing. The negative comments are rarely aimed at an individual, they are aimed at the subject matter. If somebody mentions, as part of a different conversation, "When we had our son circed...," I've never seen anybody interrupt the thread and say, "Hey, don't you know you ruined your son's sex life and maimed his perfect body? That really offends me and I can't believe you'd do that. Do you realize what you've done?..." But the subject is discussed with passion in other areas.

I wonder if we should have a subheading in Activism for "-ism awareness." (I'm not joking, even though it sounds kinda cheeky.)

It's a tough challenge to ask any community, including a virtual one, to successfully addresss a giant issue that has plagued all of society for thousands of years.

It's nice to have so many aware and thinking community members here.
OK, I see what you're saying but I have to say that I disagree WRT to it being aimed at an individual. Racist/Classist/Fatist comments may not be directed at a community member by name but they don't have to be. If you are that community member who fits the criteria of the ism (ie; someone who lives here but barely speaks English, someone who lives in a trailer park...) then it might as well be directed at you.

And, even though I realize I am the one who made the comparison, something someone chooses to do (like CIO or whatever) is a lot different than being born marginalized.

I agree that it is a tough problem but just because it has plagued society for all times doesn't mean it's too late to evolve. Change has to come from within and sometimes that change has to begin with admitting you have some issues. I know I do and I work on them... admitting it is the first step, not to sound flip, but it's true.
post #42 of 251
i found the beginning of this thread disturbing. for those at the recieving end of an -ism it is very tiring to be responsible for pointing out transgressions and then to do the educating. most of the time is just puts us back on the defensive, as most times there are disagreements as to what comments could be considered objectionable.

i think that obviously racist or classist remarks would be monitored under MDCs already existing rules. what concerns me more is the general tone of certain threads or even forums. most of what i find is a USA-centric tone--as if there is a tacit understanding amoung posters that such and such is the right way to go and therefore so and so is uneducated for doing things differently.

There also seems to be the assumption that those who use MDC boards are overwhelmingly from the US or Canada. Checking out the Finding Your Tribe list of forums confirms that this is more than an assumption. Of course according to MDC policy, or at least what has been stated before, if there are enough posts from different members that indicate a need for a unique forum, then one will be created. Without that need, none will.

I believe that the MDC community could greatly benefit from different POVs outside the standard NA-AP one. However, while browsing thru the non-NA tribal areas it appears that people from outside NA come and visit, then leave. SA, HK, GB, NZ and Australia are all English speaking countries. Not to mention others like India, Singapore or many of the Europeans which have a vast amount of english speaking people. so if language is not the problem, what is turning them away? To say that Natural or Attachment parenting or the ideals of them is not an attraction to parents in these areas would be an assumption that i'm sure could easily be proofed false.

back to my original point, i think that MDC owners need to be more aware of biases that the forums are generating. afterall, if cynthia recieves no more emails or IMs about posts that are considered racist, that certainly does not mean that threads do not contain racist remarks or overtones. it will probably mean that those subject to the racism and those sensitive to it have left MDC.

su
post #43 of 251
Great post, Susu.

Quote:
Originally posted by Susu
i so if language is not the problem, what is turning them away? To say that Natural or Attachment parenting or the ideals of them is not an attraction to parents in these areas would be an assumption that i'm sure could easily be proofed false.

I have a number of european friends who are dedicated to attachment parenting but who would never feel at home here because of the heavily white Christian American middle class overtones. (I've just learned where to read and where not to). MDc may aim to be inclusive and diverse, but I still get the strong feeling that there is a core group of long time and very vocal members that influences the general tone of the boards.
post #44 of 251
Quote:
but I still get the strong feeling that there is a core group of long time and very vocal members that influences the general tone of the boards.
No! I don't go for that! Many of us have been here fighting alongside mamas who felt offended and marginalized - and who eventually took off!
post #45 of 251
Sorry, Parismaman, maybe I am way off...I know there are some very strong other voices here, but I just meant that that is the general tone I notice and that friends are put off by when they first visit here.

But if you are saying that other members left the site because they felt marginalized, then there is something wrong, no?
post #46 of 251
Has anyone else thought about how racist and classist this thread is? The discussion has revolved around how to NOT alienate the person who is being offensive, very little about how someone reading the offensive posts and is affected personally feels. It feels to me like MDC is more concerned with not rocking the boat and protecting the offenders than protecting those who are being marginalized. I think it is really sorry to expect those who are being marginalized to always step up and educate those who are being offensive rather than just ask people to stop being racist and figure it out elsewhere so that others don't have to witness MORE of their racism and classism while they figure it out.

Racism IS hatred, and I don't see a distinction between ignorance/hatred. They are one and the same, and I don't think it is the responsibility of the marginalized peoples to "save" the oppressive from their own ignorance. I think that these issues should be addressed out in the open so that when someone sees something crappy they don't assume that the person is just giving free reign to blab whatever racist crap they want.
post #47 of 251
Yes, Muse, there is a problem. And learning to navigate around it doesn't help much (.
Quote:
I've just learned where to read and where not to
).

I'm just as guilty this past year of that because I haven't been very active - and have since chosen to stick to the places and threads I know won't offend me.
post #48 of 251
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mothra
Has anyone else thought about how racist and classist this thread is? The discussion has revolved around how to NOT alienate the person who is being offensive, very little about how someone reading the offensive posts and is affected personally feels. It feels to me like MDC is more concerned with not rocking the boat and protecting the offenders than protecting those who are being marginalized. I think it is really sorry to expect those who are being marginalized to always step up and educate those who are being offensive rather than just ask people to stop being racist and figure it out elsewhere so that others don't have to witness MORE of their racism and classism while they figure it out.

Racism IS hatred, and I don't see a distinction between ignorance/hatred. They are one and the same, and I don't think it is the responsibility of the marginalized peoples to "save" the oppressive from their own ignorance. I think that these issues should be addressed out in the open so that when someone sees something crappy they don't assume that the person is just giving free reign to blab whatever racist crap they want.
YES! Thank you thank you thank you. ITA with every word of that post.
post #49 of 251
Quote:
Originally posted by Mothra
I think it is really sorry to expect those who are being marginalized to always step up and educate those who are being offensive rather than just ask people to stop being racist and figure it out elsewhere so that others don't have to witness MORE of their racism and classism while they figure it out.
Has someone voiced this expectation? Or is this your assumption?

I have asked for those of you who see this as a widespread issue here to contact me and show me what you see. No one has done so yet.

muse, you wrote:
Quote:
I have a number of european friends who are dedicated to attachment parenting but who would never feel at home here because of the heavily white Christian American middle class overtones. (I've just learned where to read and where not to). MDc may aim to be inclusive and diverse, but I still get the strong feeling that there is a core group of long time and very vocal members that influences the general tone of the boards.
If this is true what do you propose we do about it?
post #50 of 251
I agree, too. Wholeheartedly.

But this still doesn't offer Cynthia any concrete suggestions for how to handle "isms" on the boards, beyond what's already in place..

I see the "ism," I call it to the Mod's attention.. the Mod deals.
What do you mean exactly by "handling it out in the open?"

I mean, it is one thing to discuss the dynamics of "isms..." and another to come up with concrete solutions regarding how to handle them on these boards, which is what this thread is about.

Should there be a strong statement somewhere about how these boards will not tolerate color/age/ethnic/etc etc isms?
Should there be a separate forum for exploring isms?

I mean, it is all well and good to say there are isms here.. I agree.
And I agree the people spouting the isms are the problem.. and that the marginalized should not bear the burdon of dealing with it.

So.. anyone care to make any other suggestions? I've thrown out a couple.. what are yours?
post #51 of 251
Quote:
Originally posted by Mothra
Has anyone else thought about how racist and classist this thread is? The discussion has revolved around how to NOT alienate the person who is being offensive, very little about how someone reading the offensive posts and is affected personally feels. It feels to me like MDC is more concerned with not rocking the boat and protecting the offenders than protecting those who are being marginalized. I think it is really sorry to expect those who are being marginalized to always step up and educate those who are being offensive rather than just ask people to stop being racist and figure it out elsewhere so that others don't have to witness MORE of their racism and classism while they figure it out.

Racism IS hatred, and I don't see a distinction between ignorance/hatred. They are one and the same, and I don't think it is the responsibility of the marginalized peoples to "save" the oppressive from their own ignorance. I think that these issues should be addressed out in the open so that when someone sees something crappy they don't assume that the person is just giving free reign to blab whatever racist crap they want.
I definately differentiate between ignorance and hatred! They are not the same.

I'm not interested in 'protecting the offenders' by any stretch of the imagination, but (as with anything else) I think that people can be informed without being made to feel marginalized themselves. I do indeed consider it my duty as a minority to "save the oppressive from their ignorance"; only a Jew can talk about how it feels to be a Jew, only a black woman can talk about how it feels to be a black woman. It'd be nice if more 'majority' folks decided to pay attention to the issue, and at the very least maintain some degree of sensitivity, but I don't expect it all the time. Most people honestly don't think about it --they are truly ignorant of the situation. I'd like to see that change, but I don't expect all of the changes to come from within the 'majority' community. That just doesn't seem like a reasonable expectation to me: how can people change something when they don't even know that it's a problem?
post #52 of 251
As one who is promoting education and civility, let me explain where I'm coming from. I'm older than most people here. I've been an activist for a long time, and I've learned from some of the most awesome social activists and community-change engineers around. I understand protest. I participate in protest. I promote change.

You want change, right?
I want change, too. I'm sick of clueless idiots making mindless comments. I was the only kid with my skin color in my classes at grade school for a few years. I was the only one not given a partner to dance with at the May Day presentation. My sister got stabbed in the arm with a fork in the lunch line because of her hair. As an adult, I'm living in a place where people look like me, and now I'm getting funny looks for wanting to send my kid to the public school "where all the Mexicans are". And after I patiently discuss it, I get respect, and sometimes people even realize that my son will get something their kids won't. So I stick with what works.

How do we get change? By screaming at somebody and being just as offensive as we find them? I've never seen that work. But maybe you have, so it works for you. I've only seen people who get yelled at yell back and leaving muttering about how they were right all along. And that sucks.

So, sorry. It's not simply a matter of trying to show respect for the clueless person. It's a matter of goals. If my goal is to change thinking, I'm going to do it in the most effective way. Telling somebody they're an idiot and asking them to go away until they figure it out may cure a symptom, but it doesn't cure the ailment. And if that's your goal, and you don't feel fixing things is your job, that's fine. Stick to your guns.

Okay, this isn't a 100% accurate comparison, but it stirs thought... If somebody was acting stupid and smashed my foot and it hurts like he**, I can turn around and yell, "Hey, stupid sh*t, stop acting like an idiot. You crushed my toe, you freak!" or I can say, loudly and firmly, "Excuse me! You may not know it, but you just really hurt me. Can you please pay attention to what you're doing so you don't do it to somebody else?" Playing the scenes out in my mind, I see two very different responses.

Quote:
I don't think it is the responsibility of the marginalized peoples to "save" the oppressive from their own ignorance.
I hear you. I understand that it's a pain in the to try to educate people and often an exercise in frustration. But they're not able to educate themselves, since they obviously don't know they need it. In my mind, you can point out their errors, but that doesn't motivate them to take the actions needed to gather info and effect change. I like to make it easy for them. Is it my job? No. And sometimes I don't have the energy. But when I think I can help a situation, I try.

So, I've rambled on and on and I guess the big questions remain...
How can we fix what's broken?
What works?
And whose responsibility is it?
post #53 of 251
Quote:
Originally posted by SoHappy
How do we get change? By screaming at somebody and being just as offensive as we find them? I've never seen that work. But maybe you have, so it works for you. I've only seen people who get yelled at yell back and leaving muttering about how they were right all along.
i agree with you. however may i point out that even tho i previously posted the same arguement as mothra in a less inflamatory way, no one is responding to that. people in forums, at least this one, seem to respond better to passionate statements, and as a result these posts direct the discussion of the thread.
post #54 of 251
Well, Susu, I want to let you know I read every word you wrote and respected what you had to say. I was just away from the computer for a while, so several posts piled up before I could respond to anyone.

Sometimes we don't know who we affect with our words, or who is listening. Kind of a good thing to keep in mind, I guess, as parents and citizens!
post #55 of 251
Ran into this today. Thought it was a nice primer:
http://academic.udayton.edu/race/whatsnew.htm

Sheena - I just saw your DDDDC and something clicked. Do you hang out a lot at Diapering? I have never once been to Diapering in the years that I have been on this forum. I'm wondering if there is a different atmosphere there than what I run into in the forums I visit (not all). I know there are people in Diapering who never even visit the rest of the boards.
post #56 of 251
I liked this quote from parismaman's link:

"White privilege is not something I get to decide whether or not I want to keep. Every time I walk into a store at the same time as a black man and the security guard follows him and leaves me alone to shop, I am benefiting from white privilege. There is not space here to list all the ways in which white privilege plays out in our daily lives, but it is clear that I will carry this privilege with me until the day white supremacy is erased from this society."

Yup.
post #57 of 251
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by ParisMaman
Ran into this today. Thought it was a nice primer:
http://academic.udayton.edu/race/whatsnew.htm

Sheena - I just saw your DDDDC and something clicked. Do you hang out a lot at Diapering? I have never once been to Diapering in the years that I have been on this forum. I'm wondering if there is a different atmosphere there than what I run into in the forums I visit (not all). I know there are people in Diapering who never even visit the rest of the boards.

Yes, I do hang out there but I also visit other boards. I guess I'm not sure what you're getting at???
post #58 of 251
Not really getting at anything. Just trying to understand what you are seeing. I have agreed that there is a problem. I was just wondering if you seeing more of the white middle-class thing going on in Diapering. Yeah, yeah it's really a stupid train of thought because it doesn't mean anything. Sorry. I've just never been to that forum.
post #59 of 251
Thread Starter 
No no, that's OK. I just wanted to make sure I was not getting lumped in with those who are blind to it.

Frankly, this is the main reason I don't like to hang out in TAO... I tend more towards boards that are very focused.
post #60 of 251
Um, could someone please tell me where TAO is? I am at a loss.
Thank you!!
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