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Racism: An Educational Seminar/Workshop - Page 3

post #41 of 267
I would like to show my support for the increase of discussion rather than the suppression of discussion.
I was a victim of white supremacist indoctrination growing up. My mother's antidote to the indoctrination I received was to urge me to educate myself before giving my half-baked opinions on the subject. If it wasn't for the fact that, with my mother's support, I was exposed to actual dialogue on the subject, I would not have had the amazing and challenging opportunity to spend my entire adult life so far UNlearning racist ideologies. I cannot say I hold no racist beliefs. I don't believe that any white person can say that with all honesty. But I can say I am wholeheartedly antiracist and intellectually understand that we are not ready to push this under the rug. We don't deserve to do that. We haven't earned the privelege.
post #42 of 267
I have never taken part in any of the race and racism threads. Mostly because I don't feel like I would have anything to contribute. Not only am I white, but I grew up in a community with less than a dozen non white families. I know next to nothing about racism from either side of the fence. There was very little racial tension in my town because there were no racial differences. I didn’t grow up learning hatred, but I didn't grow up learning understanding either. I didn't learn anything. So I don't post on those threads because I know enough to know my own ignorance. I do read though and I have learned so much in the last few months about what it is like for those who do walk around in skin a diferent colour than mine. I'm grateful for what I have learned and I really hope that others will have the same opportunity as I have had.
post #43 of 267
I'm not saying racism discussion would be banned completely and entirely. But those threads that just throw the subject out there - most often in TAO - with no real parenting issue focus are something that we cannot host if they are going to create such tremendous issues for us. A very wonderful online community imploded over this very same issue, as I am sure many of you know. We are extremely concerned that this could happen here at MDC.

We can only host that which we have the ability to host and moderate well as a part of our purpose on the web. While racism is something that Mothering and MDC would like to help educate families about and want to do so as a service to our members we cannot do so at an expense that is detrimental to us as a community. When such discussions start tearing the community apart we must draw lines. Simply pulling threads that get out of hand only leads to accusation of bias and silencing one side or the other. Trying to allow open discussion leads to accusation against the moderators. I see no other way but to limit discussions as we do with other tense topics and try to offer education through other venues.

shayinme, I appreciate your offer. If you would like to organize a chat and invite the community, by all means please do so. I suggest you hook up with Tina of Mommychats. I think she would be willing to host it for you. And if you would like to offer you resume for consideration for something Mothering-sponsored you can send it to me cynthiam@mothering.com
post #44 of 267
gethane, please remove the statement about this matter from your signature. It is violating our Signature policy:

Quote:
Please do not link to graphically disturbing images, or place things in your signature that reflect disagreements or issues within the board community.
post #45 of 267
But some of the most passionate discussions have been related to parenting. It would be counter-productive to ban those discussions or to automatically lock those threads just because a few members become uncomfortable with what some of us have to live with constantly. My feeling is that, if it's that uncomfortable, they can walk away. And maybe think about why they're so uncomfortable or defensive. Let the rest of us talk. Some of us can't just walk away.
post #46 of 267
oh no.

cynthia, your last response actually made me cry. my heart hurts to say this but if this is the official stand, it's a huge cop out.

It is not hard to set standards around respectful race relations. it is not an impossible thing. mdc does not have to re-invent the wheel. just the official site-wide endorsement of the definition of racism that is used in academic and activist circles would be a step in the right direction for freak's sake.

i simply cannot understand your seeming myopia on this topic. mdc doesn't shy away from tough issues, distinctions and moderation policies on other issues -- why on earth would this be different?!?!?!?!

can you not see that the act of separating out racism as unworthy of your efforts to define and act against it is in itself a racist act?
post #47 of 267
ibex67, I did read your suggestion, the post you linked to. We already have begun to compile such a list of resources, threads, etc, and will post that somewhere as a resource.

I don't know about this though:

Quote:
"folks could "id" privilidge and racism when they see it here. A running thread somewhere where links could be listed. And then those people who volunteered could do some work to explain and teach."
I'm not sure I get this. Where would this thread be? In public view? And who would the 'folks' be? How would such explanation and teaching occur?


Quote:
And that it would help if we had a sticky linking to good anti-racism resources on line. So that when we saw/heard people being offensive, hurtful, dismissive, etc [whether they intended it or not] they could be pointed to those resources.
And that would be done publically? Or by PM?

Quote:
Why can't we have anti-racist advocates like we have Granola Ambassadors? I am not saying this is a perfect solution, but perhaps it might be a step in making WOC feel safer?
Isn't this already happening? Aren't several people in our community active in discussion when racism discussion arises and still we have WOC feeling unsafe? I don't mean to sound like I feel there is no hope. I just don't know if we will ever be able to do anything more than run around in circles like we already do. It's like Melaya said "I have to say that I've always thought the censorship about certain topics on this board was dumb and excessive. : But these racism threads really do shock me with how pointless they become. Everybody's always right, nobody is ever wrong. Nothing ever gets solved and not too much is ever learned in all that chaos. It just goes back and forth until the thread is finally shut down. I also think it causes fights among people who wouldn't have argued otherwise. I don't think I'd be opposed to it being a restricted topic. I just wish it didn't have to be that way because it is somethng that should be discussed (but with some manners yk)."
post #48 of 267
How is this "already happening"? There's no official view, no formal stance. And even when some of us are able to id racism, subtle racism, the kind that gets under your skin and destroys people, we're not backed up--we're ridiculed. No administrators speak up and say, hey wait! Listen!

Instead, we're shut down. And that sends the message that we're too sensitive and, by default, supports racism.
post #49 of 267
I think it's safe to say that I am--by necessity--an anti-racist activist. But I'm not officially supported here and I'm tired.
post #50 of 267
Unworthy of our efforts? I did not say that. Worth has nothing to do with it. Someone else can argue that we feel the the life of a fetus is unworthy because we ban abortion debate. Neither are correct. It is a matter of what we are able to do. Not what we might like to do nor a measure of what we feel is most valuable. Let's please not get into picking our words apart. I have suggested that we might need to restrict discussion because of the increasing tension. I have explained my reasoning and have said that I will discuss it with the admins and mods. No decision has been made yet. Your comments are welcome. Your accusations and negativity are not.


"just the official site-wide endorsement of the definition of racism that is used in academic and activist circles would be a step in the right direction for freak's sake."

If there is a universal, agreed upon definition, send it to me and I'll get it in there. For freak's sake.
post #51 of 267
It's great to hear you all are putting together a set of resources. i will post a link to the definition as soon as i have two hands to type with again [nak].

i think, though ...[and i will try to be less emotional and negative when i explain it] that you [and mdc?] might have a fundamental misunderstanding.

I think it is a mistake -- an error as in "wrong" to group disc of racism with something like disc of abortion.

Anti-racist activists are trying to say that there is a clear "right" and "wrong" about this topic that mdc should take a stand on. Just like they take a stand on spanking.

That the experience of racism by poc is not just a subjective opinion or experience that is given the same weight as someone else's opinion about racism.

darn it -- i am being so much less clear in writing about this than i feel it, think it in my head.

Saying, asserting certain things about race and racism here should be officially disallowed -- just like saying, asserting certain things about spanking.

This is not as radical idea as it may sound and like i said before -- there is no need to re-invent the wheel. I imagine there are many outstanding anti-racist activists who would be willing to draft some language for the community agreements here.
post #52 of 267
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthia Mosher View Post
I'm not saying racism discussion would be banned completely and entirely. But those threads that just throw the subject out there - most often in TAO - with no real parenting issue focus are something that we cannot host if they are going to create such tremendous issues for us. A very wonderful online community imploded over this very same issue, as I am sure many of you know. We are extremely concerned that this could happen here at MDC.

We can only host that which we have the ability to host and moderate well as a part of our purpose on the web. While racism is something that Mothering and MDC would like to help educate families about and want to do so as a service to our members we cannot do so at an expense that is detrimental to us as a community. When such discussions start tearing the community apart we must draw lines. Simply pulling threads that get out of hand only leads to accusation of bias and silencing one side or the other. Trying to allow open discussion leads to accusation against the moderators. I see no other way but to limit discussions as we do with other tense topics and try to offer education through other venues.

shayinme, I appreciate your offer. If you would like to organize a chat and invite the community, by all means please do so. I suggest you hook up with Tina of Mommychats. I think she would be willing to host it for you. And if you would like to offer you resume for consideration for something Mothering-sponsored you can send it to me cynthiam@mothering.com
Cynthia this makes me so unhappy to read. I'm sure you don't mean to come across this way but on paper (or screen) it seems as though you gave up on the idea of finding a solution months ago. When things reached a near breaking point a few months ago you started the thread in TAO about having such a seminar. Then a month later the thread was closed for review, never to be opened again. Now you are telling us that it's not going to happen. Yet you are saying the reason is because it's not going to work. How do you know that? How many internet boards have you been the administrator at where it was mandatory for all Mods to take a racial sensitivity training seminar?

Your post seemed so "chuck the baby out with the bathwater" to me. I have this mental image of you standing with a stern look upon your face arms crossed in front of you saying "Well it's not going to get perfect by waving a magic wand, so why even dirty ourselves with trying."

Now I know that's not true and I know that much is lost over the internet in that i don't hear tone of voice or emphasis. But I just couldn't not tell you that's how things are coming across.

Why even bring up the suggestion and string us along about creating a more harmonious place where all others interested in AP/NFL are welcome if that was not ever really the intention.

Can you at least TRY? I have seen thread after thread, and post after post in support of this type of training. I haven't seen one thread saying we don;t need it. I haven't seen one post from one member saying "This is a waste of time" . Before you say it will do no good, before you at least have the mods do a racism seminar, I feel it is completely irresponsible of you as a mother and as the leader of this community to chop it all off at the knees and say "it's not going to work, so we just won't do it."
post #53 of 267
Thank you.

I agree. But I don't think it is as clearly divided as you are suggesting it is.

Certainly I don't think racism and abortion rights are the same thing. They are most definitely different. And we can certainly take a stand and make a statement (I welcome whatever you may have to offer in that way). But we still may need to refuse to host debate if our membership cannot handle it well and our mods are stressed and exhausted from having to make the call on what to accept and what to remove.
post #54 of 267
As many of you know, Abimommy and I recently took over as Administrators and Cynthia is slowly moving into her new position with Mothering as Webmaster. She has forwarded her research to me on a webinar and I'm looking into a few options. Getting someone to help us organize it is not as much of an issue as the cost.

What we're considering now is having a webinar/workshop for the moderators, then offering a pre-recorded workshop to members. Again, these are the current thoughts, nothing is set for sure and we’re still weighing options.

I also want to address this as a long time member of MDC. I remember many years ago having some issues with my son during MKL week at school. I was able to come to the good mamma's here and got a great deal of support. Even today, I use some of the knowledge I gained from the mamma's here at MDC

One of the things I’ve noticed is that people discussing racism in there lives is not so much an issue as threads that debate what racism is. Though I agree the debate is valid, it never seems to end well. Maybe there is something we can do to moderate those threads better? We’re certainly open to exploring that. I will remind all of you that our moderators are mamma’s just like all (well most ) of you and they have generously volunteered their time to MDC. Could we all use some help understanding and dealing with racism? Absolutely! Myself included!

I will ask for your patience while we work out the details and welcome any information on affordable solutions. I will ask that you submit them via PM or email though, it’s much easier for me to keep track of that way.

Much gentleness to all.
post #55 of 267
Cynthia and I cross posted - sorry if what I posted sounds odd now
post #56 of 267
We have been swamped with things going on here at MDC and at Mothering. So many things are happening and being done all at once. And we are a staff of very few. Please give us - give me - the benefit of the doubt. Assume the best.

I did not say anywhere that we will not have the mod training or a seminar. I think I explained the matter as one of expense that we could not take on but that we want to try other affordable ways and that we are awaiting the availability of those we have plans with to make it all happen.

My suggestion to restrict the discussions is due to the posts made at the start of this thread that convey a sense of extreme issue within the community. If members are not benefiting from the discussions and members do not have confidence in our moderation staff to oversee the discussions well, and we cannot immediately remedy the issues it seems appropriate to me that we should place a moratorium on such discussions until we can come up with a better way or an alternative.

Perhaps those posts are expressing a desperateness or view that not all of you share? Some seem to feel that the discussions have been beneficial so it is rather confusing.
post #57 of 267
I think it goes without saying that some of us are more desperate than others. The discussions are beneficial when even one person listens and grows. But, it is frustrating when the same people jump on a thread and accuse others of being too sensitive, or of making racism worse than it has to be, and still others throw out language that is commonly perceived as racist and remain unchecked. And the few of us who are still willing to hang in there and respond are left unsupported by the site. Too many people have gotten hurt and left altogether. The threads that led to their departure are shocking and, yet, beyond being locked, nothing has been done to address the intent of some of the members, who continue to hurt others.
post #58 of 267
Missy, why do you assume nothing is done to address the intent of some members? Are you aware of who the mods contact and discuss and what they say to them? Who they alert and warn? Again, please don't assume that nothing is done. And if you do know that nothing was done, please contact me by email (cynthiam@mothering.com - I have PMs turned off) and clarify that for me, pointing to the specific posts of issue and lack of action by the moderators.
post #59 of 267
I have a suggestion - I hope it's the right place. I think a few of the mothers here who work hard against racism - shayinme and kajira, in particular, should hold a position similar to a granola ambassador and should do the same as a granola ambassador does for NFL, except they'd do it for racist comments. They can work with the mods and admins in identifying and educating.
post #60 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthia Mosher View Post
Missy, why do you assume nothing is done to address the intent of some members?
Probably because it is the same posters over and over who work together to get certain threads locked and deleted, rather than just stay out.
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