Person of Color thread #4 September 30, 2019 12:36 PM   Subscribe

Metafilter's fourth open thread for discussions by people of color.

I'm cribbing Brandon Blatcher's excellent format for this post - all of the material after this is just a C&P from the ones he did earlier - and I'm only posting in case nobody else had the time or energy to do so yet.

This is Mefi's fourth person of color thread (1, 2, 3). As before, it's a space for discussion for Metafilter members of color, so before posting please take a look at the guidelines posted inside, thanks!

Guidelines for Members:
* Only BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) members should comment in the thread.
* There's no set agenda or theme for the thread other than creating a space for BIPOC members to express themselves with little fear of having to deal with macro or micro-aggressions.
* Non-BIPOC members should refrain completely from commenting or favoriting. That said, it's impossible to prevent anyone from using a feature of the site, aka favoriting, so it's best not to pay much attention to them in this thread.
* Please remember that this is a public thread, so anyone on the internet can read it.
* The contact form is always available if there's anything you want to privately direct towards the mods.

How the Mods have agreed to moderate the thread:
* Light moderation with mods chiming only to direct questions i.e. "Mods, xxxxxx...."
* Refrain from deleting any comments unless they're outright threats to another person or group.
* Remove any comments that attempt to argue the validity of the thread's purpose.
posted by mordax to MetaFilter-Related at 12:36 PM (51 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

There was so much I wanted to say in response to this thread: Stories About My Brother, about Prachi Gupta's brother. My wife mentioned it to me because we've discussed my own experience with dating, with being short, with having Indian heritage and growing up in America, I just didn't have the spoons for it.

I just wanted to acknowledge that here. Like, that post has been sitting in the back of my mind for some while now and I've been typing out comments in my head but I just don't have the energy to share all of the screaming thoughts in my brain.
posted by Fizz at 1:16 PM on September 30 [10 favorites]


Thank you for starting this thread. I may not post that much in these threads for POC but I read them all. I like having this space that I know won't be invaded with "Well, actually..." and hurt white fragility.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:49 PM on September 30 [13 favorites]


I enjoyed the material and commentary in the Okra/Food thread as well as that of the Shinnecock people and their struggles against climate change and shitty treatment in general.

Not much more to say currently that I can recall but I appreciate the thread and all you folks commenting and reading the same.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:56 PM on September 30 [3 favorites]


Yes, thanks for starting up the new thread, mordax!

I'll be busier in October (due to less "sitting around on the internet" time, as primalux so accurately phrased it in the previous thread lol), so I'll be more in reading mode than commenting mode in the weeks to come. But I'll still be here, hoping to pipe up in some kind of supportive manner when possible, like some scruffy punk doodling in the back of the class nevertheless paying attention enough to lend a voice of encouragement to the beleaguered protags just trying to get through the dang day.
posted by rather be jorting at 9:18 PM on September 30 [4 favorites]


Thanks, Mordax!

One kind of bright spot in the US today: Amber Guyger (the Texas cop who murdered a man in his own apartment because she accidentally walked in on him) was found guilty of murder. It's a really striking commentary that across my feed, there's been so much disbelief that justice actually seemed to prevail for once.
posted by TwoStride at 3:50 PM on October 1 [13 favorites]


Also I'm having another of those jarring moments when my Black social media feed was full of Jessye Norman tributes yesterday, and the obit post on the blue is barely a blip.
posted by TwoStride at 4:00 PM on October 1 [4 favorites]


I continue to feel that largely white crowds are far shittier about people having religious feels than largely non-white ones, and that when they think about other people having religious beliefs, they are thinking about white people with religion rather than nonwhite people with religion. But I no longer have any hope that will ever change. So this is really just here as essentially a period.
posted by corb at 3:13 PM on October 3 [4 favorites]


RIP Diahann Caroll
posted by Mrs Potato at 11:30 AM on October 4 [7 favorites]


I just made an obit post for Diahann Carroll, Mrs Potato. What an amazing woman.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:32 PM on October 5 [5 favorites]


AskMe was a great resource when I was in high school and college trying to learn the implicit knowledge that, I think, most upper-middle-class white people get from their families.

Now that I'm married to a white woman, though, I'm realizing that AskMe is mostly great for teaching me to ape white and white-collar norms. It is not even passable at suggesting, or teaching me to find, mutually satisfactory compromises between white and Chinese norms. That is not what most Mefites do with Chinese people.

As a specific example (the precipitating example, in fact), yesterday I pulled a neck bone out of the stock and started sucking the gristly bits off it. My wife told me that was disgusting, told me to stop, and then left the room and refused to come back to dinner until I was done.

For her, this is an isolated incident. She individually does not want me to do this one thing, which she detests from people of all races, including her father.

For me, this is part of a larger trend that we all saw recently in the durian thread and before that in school cafeterias. A trend I definitely don't want my wife reproducing for our children in their own home.

So I thought about asking Metafilter...and I realized that this is not a question Metafilter would do well.

And now I'm kind of...mourning? For a long time AskMe had a pretty good chance of answering any question I asked. Now I understand that that was more a result of which questions I chose to ask it. It feels a bit like finding out that your teachers don't know everything.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 7:27 AM on October 6 [22 favorites]


Maybe we need a navigational PoC/BIPOC ask me thread?
posted by Mrs Potato at 8:26 AM on October 6 [7 favorites]


I’m sick to my stomach with the bossy hectoring in the Facebook thread. I got called out and was told:

My family and I are unethical and are capable of casually killing puppies.
“No one wants to change but fuck, if every time you picked up the phone to call your relative, a puppy was killed, yeah I know some people would shrug and say "so what, make more puppies" but people who lived on a ethical plane would find alternatives.”

I’m not trying hard enough. My elderly parents and other family members are judged and found wanting. My parents were doctors; they dictated everything. They just never developed a feel for computers.
“Nonsense. You think pre-Facebook no one spoke to their loved ones? It's just the most convenient. There are other social networks that work just as effectively without the horseshit. You just have to take the initiative to get everyone on board. And yes, I know that's not easy, but it's far from impossible.

My mother is 77 and one of the most tech-illiterate people I've ever met in my life, yet she uses Telegram and Ello without issue.”

I’m frustrated with the lack of empathy, the inability to understand what it’s like to have a large, global family. Not all of them are rich, not all of us speak the same language, we’re not on the same continent, we’re not in the same time zone, making tech service impossible. Making a phone call to/from the antipodes costs more money than some of my relatives can easily budget. Some are quite old, don’t like surprises, and nap a lot. Being able to post at their convenience is powerful. Being able to take their time writing in a non-native language is powerful. To get a response from a grand niece or nephew in a few hours? My titas cried the first time that happened. When they left the Philippines and moved to Europe and North American, they couldn’t afford phone calls, film was expensive, and mailing packages was, too. But now they can see the newest grandchild immediately.

It’s midnight and I’m sitting in bed, crying with frustration, furious. I’m not sure what more I want to say. I’m also not sure if I want to be here on Metafilter anymore, either.
posted by lemon_icing at 4:50 AM on October 8 [16 favorites]


Ugh, that thread is gross. And, per usual, the pushback was extremely mild. I'm beginning to wish that mods would never address us as "folks."

I'm sorry, lemon_icing.
posted by TwoStride at 5:22 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


Ugh, that thread is gross. And, per usual, the pushback was extremely mild.

I read that thread and just closed the site for the day. I'm increasingly convinced I need somewhere else to be, just haven't figured out where yet.
posted by mordax at 10:35 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the kind words. I thought I might go back and explain just how spread my family is but realised it doesn’t matter.

cheers
posted by lemon_icing at 12:53 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


How does one start a slack?? Anyone interested in having one for us? I'm afraid to look at the thread. I'm sorry all who did. Dealing with a reply all issue at work re: an incident. Fun times. Hugs if you would like. Take care everyone.
posted by jj's.mama at 2:27 PM on October 8 [4 favorites]


Thanks for the kind words.

You matter.

Anyone interested in having one for us?

I'd be down for that.

Sorry about the work situation, too. :(
posted by mordax at 7:52 PM on October 8 [2 favorites]


I would also be down for a slack.

I was just thinking earlier today how it's been months and I literally don't know what actions are being taken to address the initial concerns raised in the thread that spawned these POC threads, like I know mods are trying to be more on top of things related to race, but is anything else happening? I feel like there was a sort of push among the membership to be more aware of these things but now that so much time has passed I feel like a lot of things are reverting back and this is again a site that assumes white/middle-upper class/academic/educated as default and it's really frustrating and also very off-putting.
posted by primalux at 8:35 PM on October 8 [10 favorites]


Is it just me.. or is the 'Black Magic/ Black Sorcery' thread kinda.. exhausting?

I don't mean the actual thread itself, just the title and the inference that science/physics the 'average person' can't immediately understand is 'Black Magic' is just so .. problematic

Here's the original thread I'm referring to for context:

https://www.metafilter.com/183506/Black-sorcery

I can't tell if I'm being over-sensative.
posted by Faintdreams at 2:46 AM on October 9 [3 favorites]


Faintdreams: I was confused by that post at first because I thought it was gonna be something related to like the concept of "black girl magic" or just like black people being amazing or something and then it ended up being - science experiments? And I did think the title at that point became a bad look, like just call it "wizardry" or something.
posted by primalux at 8:59 AM on October 9 [3 favorites]


primalux, it does feel like the white/middle-upper class/academic/educated default has been slowly slipping back into place. I’d like to add to your summary: USA-centric and mono-lingual.

That is what I didn’t express earlier: the complications of language. Many, if not most, of my younger relatives (first gen non-Filipino) do not speak the same language and are not fluent in their parents’ tongue. Amongst the older gen, the majority are spread across Tagalog (national language of the Philippines) and two dialects. I am only fluent in Visaya and barely understand Tagalog. The American/Canadians and British cousins often struggle with each other, ffs! I speak Spanish, so I can navigate with the Spaniards and Italians. But my French is schoolgirl level, and my German is abysmal. My brain doesn’t work at all with Portuguese.

Why this big breakdown? Because there were so many judgy, off-handed comments about “just pick up the phone and call, you lazy FB-lover you! There was life before FB”. You know what that life was like? Kids acting as translators.

But . . . everyone in my family can write and read (with difficulty) English. So having a platform where one can take their time reading and writing to communicate directly across generations and languages is intimate and powerful.

So is this a BIPOC issue? Or a white, middle-class, live near my mom, and only speak one language issue?
posted by lemon_icing at 11:50 AM on October 9 [15 favorites]


re: slack

if you're interested, memail me
posted by anem0ne at 12:20 PM on October 9 [5 favorites]


Georgia Southern Students Burn Cuban-American Author's Book After Accusing Her of 'Racism Towards White People'

I really liked her response to the student at the Q&A. Shame that those students didn't have an actual interest in her answer.
posted by primalux at 8:41 AM on October 11 [5 favorites]


meaty shoe puppet, I think you've articulated much of what I see as MetaFilter's primary utility, as well as its limitations. I relate a lot to reading AskMe for the kind of implicit knowledge easily acquired from just growing up in certain kinds of upper-middle-class white families, but would also avoid using it for questions relating to, say, interracial relationships. FWIW, I think it's a total overreaction to leave the room until one's spouse is finished not wasting perfectly edible food, but then again, I also grew up in a Chinese immigrant family and wouldn't blink twice at anyone getting the last bit of food out or off of a bone.

lemon_icing, that's insanely frustrating about the hectoring in the fb thread and I'm sorry you had to deal with that. Like, save the ire for Big Zuck and the people who are actually in a position of power when it comes to failures of corporate ethics and abusive policies, rather than everyday users who are doing what they can with a not ideal but still useful communications resource. And, partially, I think people who've never had to try communicating with family all around the globe (save perhaps the occasional temporary time period of someone studying or teaching abroad in a country where English isn't the primary language) aren't going to understand that what seems like a mere convenience might be the sole means of maintaining connection when massive time zone differences prohibit real-time communication and snail mail isn't going to cut it either, even with advances to international shipping and airmail. Not everyone's going to have the time and money and multilingual fluency to keep in touch in a tangible manner, or via massive email chains, or via smaller lesser-used/supported/accessible apps/platforms that may shutter much sooner than fb ever will (or run the risk of getting acquired by some other company...).

Something semi-related, I don't think the burden should be on a BIPOC to detail exactly how and why one has a particular perspective that doesn't conform to MeFi-majority views (or just the prevailing mood in a subsection of a thread), and it's valid to not want to expend the effort of explaining oneself in more detail to an audience that can feel more concerned with justifying why they are in the right or stating the "correct" position, rather than reaching a clearer mutual understanding.

primalux, yep, I also wonder: so, what else is happening? I've mostly been sticking to low-effort pop culture threads and haven't had much of a sense of broader MeFi as of late. I do notice a few other MeTas bringing up guidelines somewhat similar to the BIPOC-only threads which maybe could be a sign of greater awareness of establishing agreed-upon community norms that acknowledge the need for relevance of insight before popping off with a comment. Sort of a minimum standard, but it's interesting seeing at least a little broader spread of consciousness regarding community mgmt maybe.

jj's.mama, oof, reply all... :/ sorry and good luck with the Incident!

&, hugs for all
posted by rather be jorting at 10:00 AM on October 11 [5 favorites]


btw I just started reading White Fragility, which I'd recommend as another resource for the systemic racism page on the wiki (and just in general). Lots of passages I'm highlighting for future reference within the first chapter alone...

For example, the following excerpt reminds me a bit of the State of the Site thread (amongst other things):
White progressives can be the most difficult for people of color because, to the degree that we think we have arrived, we will put our energy into making sure that others see us as having arrived. None of our energy will go into what we need to be doing for the rest of our lives: engaging in ongoing self-awareness, continuing education, relationship building, and actual antiracist practice. White progressives do indeed uphold and perpetrate racism, but our defensiveness and certitude make it virtually impossible to explain to us how we do so.
posted by rather be jorting at 10:26 AM on October 11 [10 favorites]


White progressives do indeed uphold and perpetrate racism, but our defensiveness and certitude make it virtually impossible to explain to us how we do so.

This is how I've decided to stop talking about Star Trek here, and probably stop using Fanfare entirely. I keep bumping into white people who think that because white liberals mean well, they should be above criticism and cannot possibly behave in racist ways.

Not everybody: the regulars were, in fact, fantastic, and do understand all this, white or otherwise. There's just been enough times I've had to go over race essentialism and associated ways even a liberal product can be bad that I'm just... tired, and ready to move on with my life.

primalux, yep, I also wonder: so, what else is happening?

Same. These threads are a decent first step, but more actual changes are necessary.
posted by mordax at 4:15 PM on October 11 [5 favorites]


re: prioritizing dogs over POC, soz to vent, but please pick up after your dogs if you take them for a walk through your local graveyards and cemeteries. It's getting old seeing the spaces by non-Asian gravestones left alone while I have to step around literal shit left all over the Asian burial plots just to pay respects to ye olde ancestors. :/
posted by rather be jorting at 11:05 AM on October 12 [5 favorites]


mordax, I have a ton of opinions on Trek fandom that are hard for me to organize on mobile rn but imo with any large fandom, it is a joy to find people you can discuss episodes in depth with and it is a pain to deal with other opinionated fans who do not spark that joy, and the sooner you identify the parts of fandom or people in fandom you'd rather not interact with or hear from, that's valid boundary-setting. 🖖🏼
posted by rather be jorting at 11:43 AM on October 12 [5 favorites]


mordax, I pretty much stopped using Fanfare because I got sick of the constant (not-so-)sub-current of misogynoir/antiblackness and other racism, so I feel you. It’s interesting how if a show is flawed or just plain mediocre but centered on white characters, it’s a perfectly acceptable problematic fave or guilty pleasure, but if it’s centered on or even has significant supporting black characters, especially black women, then suddenly it’s just plain bad! And those actors are always the worst ones in the ensemble! And if it’s part of a franchise, well, it’s Not Really Franchise and we must rehash the truth of this in every. Single. Episode thread.

(I really want to be happier about the upcoming Picard show than I actually am, but even if it’s a trainwreck spewing its cargo of flaming turds everywhere, you know the response will still be, “Hey, it needs work, but at least Real Star Trek is back!”)
posted by bettafish at 5:54 PM on October 12 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I remember you and I trying to explain the baggage surrounding Danny Pink's treatment to someone in a Doctor Who thread one time. That was... disheartening. (And I agree with everything else you said as well.)
posted by mordax at 1:09 AM on October 13 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I remember looking at one of the Short Treks FanFare threads and seeing a comment about how the bonus mini-episodes are better than Discovery as a whole and flashed back to a rehash of 90s arguments about how DS9 wasn't Real Trek on the old-school HTML-only BBS threads. Sure, Disco has its flaws and discussing the flaws in DSC is part of the viewing process for me and my friends, but there's so much more about the show that we enjoy while simultaneously being aware of its flaws - a mental balancing act that plenty of Trekbros are content to uphold for their favorite pre-DSC series, yet unwilling to entertain for the one* current ongoing series (*until ST:P premieres, that is (and I like Picard, even, but having yet another new item of Trek media focusing on him feels like a lack of faith in DSC and the future of Trek to return to the TNG well yet again)).

Which, tl/dr, is another way of saying I agree w/ bettafish's comment about how flawed shows focusing on white characters get given so much more leeway and benefit of the doubt. It also relates to one of the themes diAngelo brings up in White Fragility re: white privilege - there's just so much more benefit of the doubt associated with whiteness, where that benefit of the doubt theoretically gets extended to others as well but is only consistently afforded to white people. Even when it comes to "just" tv consumption and discussion. I don't think everyone who considers themselves a Trekkie is obligated to like all Trek or even DSC, but I do think there's a pattern of seeing Trekkies being less willing to give DSC as much of a chance as they have afforded to other Trek series that, coincidentally, haven't starred a character played by a black woman.

(And, imo, there are a lot of joy-sparking moments in DSC specifically because of who's playing which character, like the sheer joy of seeing, for example, not just one, but two black women traveling through time in ways essential to the plot, even if the plot was simultaneously galaxy brain speculative-fiction-creative and Trek-typical "whoa there!"-bananas all at once. But none more outlandish than slingshotting around the sun to travel back to San Francisco in the 80s to find some whales to save the future b/c of communications long-established in the past...)

In other respects, I've enjoyed quite a bit about FanFare, but I've only really dipped into a small fraction of it here and there. Like AskMe (or just the site overall), there are certain areas that commenters handle well specifically because of the perspectives they possess - and there are certain areas where such perspectives are frustratingly limited.
posted by rather be jorting at 11:01 PM on October 13 [6 favorites]


I've been catching up on The Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj episodes recently, which led me to finally watch his standup special, Homecoming King. Both are recommended viewing (especially Patriot Act - feels good hearing from a specifically BIPOC perspective on so many topics!), but of the many quotable moments in both, I especially want to highlight this section from Homecoming King:
My dad’s from that generation, like a lot of immigrants, where he feels like if you come to this country, you pay this thing, the American dream tax: you’re gonna endure some racism, and if it doesn’t cost you your life, hey, you lucked out. Pay it, “Here you go, Uncle Sam!” But for me, like a lot of us, I was born here. So I actually have the audacity of equality! I’m like, “I’m in Honors Gov, I have it right here. Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. All men created equal.” It says it right here, I’m equal. I’m equal. I don’t deserve this.
Which came in the midst of a devastating anecdote about hate that his family received after 9/11. Like there were lols to be had before and after, and Minhaj expertly tossed in a bit (Honors Gov!) in the midst of this matter-of-fact brutal retelling, but - damn. The audacity of equality. What a succinct and accurate phrase.
posted by rather be jorting at 11:17 PM on October 13 [8 favorites]


Linking these here in case people haven't seen them yet: Rolling out some updated site documentation MetaTalk post, and new microaggressions and making space site documentation page!
posted by rather be jorting at 10:06 AM on October 14 [6 favorites]


Thanks for the link!

I was a bit surprised to see the claim that these new pages were the result of email consultations, as they seem very much written for the majority. Was anyone in this thread consulted?
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 11:31 AM on October 14 [3 favorites]


> Was anyone in this thread consulted?

Wondering this myself! If not from this specific thread, I think it'd be reassuring to see a touch more transparency regarding the email consultations, since those are discussions off-site that only the direct participants are aware of and it's not clear at the moment what impact that has had on the drafting. Not asking for people to identify themselves or be identified if they don't want to, btw - mainly I'm thinking it'd be cool to have some kind of confirmation that the mods did incorporate direct input from BIPOC MeFites in the drafting process w/r/t addressing racial microaggressions (and, similarly, other relevant/intersecting affected groups w/r/t other microaggressions), whether it's via one-on-one communication or from paying attention to comments made in other threads, to know that the mods are indeed listening to the groups who have been directly affected by such unwelcoming behavior, rather than prioritizing the input of people who are still in the MeFi-culturally-dominant groups.

As for the new pages seeming very much written for the majority, I kinda get that - it's sort of like diAngelo making a point of addressing white readers during the White Fragility book, where BIPOC readers aren't going to need the specific kind of education and learning opportunities that she's providing specifically for the white readers of her book (though there's learning opportunities for all, in different respects, throughout). So for something like, finding a good way (or just a start) to communicate with our userbase to mitigate the defensiveness that derails further communication, I can see the utility of consulting with non-BIPOC specifically for the perspective of diplomatic phrasing that you really want to have some non-BIPOC feedback for, but also, for other items, it'd make the most sense to get direct feedback from BIPOC rather than non-BIPOC.

Overall though, I'm just glad to see some steps being made, so now the discussion can shift more towards progressing even further from this new starting point, instead of retreading the same speculations yet again re ever coming up with a starting point at all.
posted by rather be jorting at 1:47 PM on October 14 [2 favorites]


So weird to come to MetaFilter today and see no acknowledgement of Indigenous People's Day at all. Like, everywhere else I have been today is just wall to wall posts about it. I know that's a function of who I follow and am friends with elsewhere, but honestly. Honestly.
posted by stoneweaver at 8:50 PM on October 14 [4 favorites]




Can confirm: The Onion is still taking no prisoners. I also did throw up a post with lots of good Native music. One of my favorite collectives put out a new video today, so put that up with links to the members and some of their more well known stuff.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:21 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]


I did not know the US had Indigenous Peoples Day; I’m glad I know that now. Looking it up, I just learned the US still has “Columbus Day” as the name of the federal holiday, yikes. Canada’s Aboriginal Day is June 21 but it’s not a federal holiday, though there are people pushing for it to be and I definitely think it should be.

I have read the new site guidelines now, and I think they’re a good step forward. I was actually wondering what had happened with that and was thinking of making a Metatalk post to ask, and lo and behold here is an update. I was impressed at how many things they included that have been lacking in the past.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:43 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]


(rests chin in hands at the comment in the guidelines MeTa about "inflammatory rhetoric toward dominant groups")

(glad to see a fairly quick mod response, though)
posted by rather be jorting at 10:28 AM on October 16 [6 favorites]


This piece from Mother Jones frustrated me so much I had to read it in chunks. The title says it all: The Whitewashing of “#WhitePeopleDoingYoga”.
posted by lemon_icing at 10:43 PM on October 21 [6 favorites]


I wanted to post that when I read it because it seemed so obvious and then I read the comments and realized that it would probably be a mess.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:35 PM on October 21 [5 favorites]


Agreed; this is the only place I felt safe enough to share.
posted by lemon_icing at 1:29 AM on October 22 [2 favorites]


I hadn't read that Mother Jones piece before, and yet it felt so familiar. SIGH.
posted by TwoStride at 6:27 AM on October 22 [2 favorites]


hi all, I just wanted to pop back in to say bye real quick. I've stopped posting many times in the past but this time it looks final. I hope that my writing has provided some comfort to the more irritated members out there and I wish you all the best. ♥

- yaymukund
posted by i like crows very much at 3:53 AM on October 23 [9 favorites]


I'll miss you, yaymukund.
posted by TwoStride at 5:23 AM on October 23 [2 favorites]


I hope that my writing has provided some comfort to the more irritated members out there and I wish you all the best. ♥

Your contributions mattered, and I wish you the best too. Obligatory mention of the POC Slack, if you're up for it on your way out of here.

*hugs*
posted by mordax at 4:16 PM on October 23 [2 favorites]


I’ll miss you too, yaymukund. Thank you for all you’ve contributed...take care.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:35 PM on October 23 [2 favorites]


Does anyone else get a little eye-twitchy at the people who love to invoke Brer Rabbit in the politics megathreads?
posted by TwoStride at 9:57 PM on October 26 [4 favorites]


I think this thread is closing soon, so I wanted to step in as a lurker and say that I appreciate everyone speaking up and wading into the morass that is talking about race on MetaFilter (to be fair, there are very few online spaces that are good about this). I do think that these threads have helped push the tone of discussion a bit forward (or at least helped the mods be more aware of the comments that need to go, ASAP), so thank you. We still have more work to do, but I don't feel as alienated anymore :)
posted by devrim at 9:06 AM on October 31 [5 favorites]


Sliding in one more time before the thread closes:

- Going forward, this MeTa re: allowing pushback comments to stand started a few days ago and has been covering a lot of crossover/relevant discussion regarding some core dynamics of the site (moderating and managing user behavior, esp w/r/t contentious/highly active threads)

- I'm short on time to find the exact comment, but I still think a lot about the question brought up re: what should the white person who does want to improve and does care about not just being another ignorant white person do? So here are some thoughts:

1) remember that racism isn't easily separated into a good/bad dichotomy (see: White Fragility the book for more detail), 2) racism isn't only easily defined or represented by overt intentional acts of discrimination or conscious beliefs in racial superiority, 3) we are all living in a racist society and nobody is exempt from having their views of themselves AND others influenced by the society you have grown up with and live in - you can't control everything about your environment, but you can control your efforts to examine your assumptions of others, and to take a step back and think about what's going on with the bigger picture and wonder why you assume certain things are a default universality or why you're surprised by certain things not being universal or others, and if you can easily go walk into a gated community without question, why might it be difficult or even dangerous for others to attempt to do so?, 4) tl/dr, nobody has achieved absolute social justice galaxy brain perception, so don't feel bad about putting your foot in your mouth or not being perfect - nobody's perfect. Pobody's nerfect, even! - but do try to learn from gaffes and errors (especially if others make them first, so you don't have to repeat their mistakes, but you still get the benefit of learning from them), 5) no individual exists solely for your edification or to be your learning opportunity, but I think a decent middle ground between 'never learn from anyone different than you' and 'not treating other humans as only lessons' is to listen to as many experiences that aren't yours as you can and try to figure out how to grow and improve from those additional perspectives, and level up your empathy when you can, 6) so, idk man, be kind, to both yourself and others.

- stoneweaver had a really good comment for this Ask, I thought.

- In short, to second devrim, I also appreciate everyone speaking up and wading into the morass! (yaymukund, I still think about your comment quoting Kendi some MetaTalks ago, and really appreciated your contributions!) Definitely more work to be done, but still, thanks y'all
posted by rather be jorting at 11:16 AM on October 31 [7 favorites]


« Older Metatalktail Hour: The Books of Adolescence   |   Someone else should do this Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments