Person of Color thread #5 (I think?) June 6, 2020 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Given everything that is going on in the U.S. and the world related to racism at this very moment, I thought it was time for another BIPOC only thread. There are also many FPPs related to race currently as well as two new moderators. As before, this is a space for discussion for Metafilter members of color, so before posting please take a look at the guidelines posted inside.

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 non-BIPOC mods interacting only to direct questions i.e. "Mods, xxxxxx...." Any BIPOC moderators are invited and encouraged to participate in their capacity as community members.
* 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 primalux to MetaFilter-Related at 10:54 AM (109 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

Just to start this off, it has been a long time since we've had one of these but I thought it was a good time to have one. Many of the BIPOC members here are also members of the MetaPOC slack and we talk about a lot of our issues and concerns about the site there, but that really doesn't do any good in terms of communicating with people who are not on that slack or in terms of having our concerns shared and heard. This thread is not limited to those kinds of conversations at all, but it was where I started from. I hope this is a safe space for any BIPOC member to talk about anything they want.
posted by primalux at 11:02 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


I'm always tired when someone tries to interject a conversation with "WELL MY ONE _____ FRIEND/ASSOCIATE/COWORKERS COUSINS FRIENDS UNCLE SAID..." about the subject of conversation. Especially when dealing with matters of race and ethnicity. Like, BIPOC people are not a monolith. Especially those from a different community and country.

Like if we can understand that not all women like frilly dresses, not all nerds love math, not all Black people listen to hip hop, etc... especially during these times people strain to find the ONE person to cling onto to do their work for them. Reductress is totally accurate during these times.

And I'll be even more specific, I'm constantly tired and frustrated when typically white people try to extrapolate and entire East Asian culture and people if they know ONE person (barely) to represent how an entire country's people feel, think or experience. Can I also bitch about the "well I have an Asian wife, SO (blah blah blah)" and especially infuriating when their "Asian wife" is from an entirely different culture. Like if they actually have a Vietnamese wife trying to talk for South Korean issues, or something like that.

I see this on Mefi crop up quite a fair amount, and it's especially egregious on Askme and extra infuriating when these opinions are shouted down on blue but held when answering a question on Ask.
posted by xtine at 11:25 AM on June 6 [19 favorites]


@xtine, I'm SO tired of that as well too. I'm from Hong Kong and lived in China for a few years. It doesn't make me an expert on Korea, Japan, Thailand, India or just about anywhere that isn't those two places. Heck, I wouldn't even consider myself an expert on Hong Kong since I haven't lived or visited in a long time.

I've also noticed that white men feel this constant need to judge Asian Americans on whether or not we are "real Asians." White expats in China were constantly saying that TO MY FACE, like they were the experts. Hilariously, many of them barely knew anything about the culture or the language. Just STFU, assholes--you don't get to judge because like Jon Snow, you know nothing.

On a more positive note, I really want to give props to toastyk for their wonderful posts, particularly the ones on Hong Kong. I feel so seen here.

I have to admit that I'm only posting here again on MeFi as a whole because of the new mods.
posted by so much modern time at 11:44 AM on June 6 [9 favorites]


Heck, I wouldn't even consider myself an expert on Hong Kong since I haven't lived or visited in a long time.

This. I'd further like to add, not even everybody in their country may understand their own issues. Like... how many Americans are clueless or naive about what's going on right now? So that "oh I have one Taiwanese associate that told me about X thing" is that really representative of all of Taiwanese people? No.
posted by xtine at 11:52 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


So one of the things that was a catalyst for this was tied to moderation regarding Asks that involve POC posters and answers from POC, specifically this ask. A WOC I know answered the question, bringing in her experiences as a WOC who has had white male partners, and basically said "Your husband is racist but it might not be something that is worth arguing about, because you're stuck in quarantine with him and that could potentially be dangerous." I am paraphrasing but I have seen the comments - they were direct and did not mince words but they were not insulting, and were, again, based on her actual experiences and knowledge. Her comments were deleted, with the mod note "[Few comments removed: Please respond with care, try to bring light rather than heat to the question, and consider this an opportunity to educate.]"

To say that POC should be "educating" white people, at this specific moment in history especially, and to avoid bringing "heat" is the most obnoxious kind of tone-policing and incredibly dismissive.

I have been angry about that since I saw it, angry about that specific mod note and just angry about that being the kind of moderation that this site sometimes encourages.

It was further crystallized for me upon reading this ask this morning. There are plenty of direct answers about the people the asker is dealing with being toxic, sexist, that it isn't her job to educate them, etc. Can you imagine if those answers had been deleted with the reason that was given above, "Please respond with care, try to bring light rather than heat to the question, and consider this an opportunity to educate."

Metafilter seems to understand that it's not the job of women to be nice and educate sexists, but apparently they think that's still the job of POC when it comes to racism.
posted by primalux at 12:11 PM on June 6 [31 favorites]


Sending love and solidarity to all POC on MeFi right now, but especially Black MeFites. It's been a devastating week and I hope you are all taking care of yourselves.

The thing giving me life right now is Tsuru Rising, the virtual event of Tsuru for Solidarity. This was originally a Japanese American community protest against the border camps and immigrant detention and an expression of solidarity with detainees based on Japanese American experiences in World War II, but in response to current events the organizers quickly added a lot of programming to express solidarity with the Black community and to work against anti-Blackness in our communities and call for an end to racist policing. Speakers are talking about defunding the police and calling for reparations for Black Americans. IT'S FUCKING AMAZING! I LOVE IT!!!

And this dovetails nicely with what people are saying above about not taking your one (Japanese) friend to represent what all (Japanese Americans) think: Not only is it dumb to extrapolate from one person regardless, if you have one POC in a room full of white people? They're not telling you what they really think! I've had my frustrations with conservative and slow-moving elements in my community before, but get a bunch of us in a room together and more likely than not we get radical as FUCK! I think JAs are lucky in that we don't as often have to actively hide parts of ourselves to get along, but sometimes you're just in a room full of white people and it's like yeah whatever or you spend the whole time debunking some weird idea someone has and don't get around to talking about what really moves you, and then you get around your people and there's that ENERGY. You cannot, cannot pretend to know what all people from a particular community think when you corner them alone in a hostile space and ask them.

Anyway! I'm just really excited about Tsuru, thanks for listening

I get that this is not the right space for the mods to respond since it's the POC-only thread, but lest it get lost, I also want to call attention to meaty shoe puppet's question about anti-racism training for MetaFilter mods toward the end of the thread about the new mods. I'm also eager for an update and I hope we get an answer.
posted by sunset in snow country at 12:17 PM on June 6 [9 favorites]


The one good thing that's come out of this ::gesticulates wildly:: *everything* is that the Racists and Bigots are generally Proudly showing their Asses online and often doubling down on their statements.

Which means two main things:
1- They are easy to see and avoid if necessary
2 -They are doing this in public so 'I have the receipts' (to misappropriate a phrase) which means they can't successfully gaslight people when they get challenged.

It's a shame as I have had to purge two authors ad two large brands from life, but at least I know they think I'm a lesser being so I can choose not to give them any more of my money.

Neal Asher hardbacks on my bookcase and TBR pile *gone*
Jim Butcher Dresden Files material *gone*
One smaller youtuber (whom I won't name as they now deleted their channel anyway)
Two Leftist Comics (again I wont name them because they've deleted things before they can be screen shotted )

It's disheartening and sad making but I'm all out of benefits-of-the-doubt at this point.

It's still all very very tiring and angry making though.
posted by Faintdreams at 12:19 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Also when the two new Mods were announced and it was stated that they both come from Outside Metafilter, I just thought ' Welcome to the Shark Tank ' what a time to start this particular job as a POC (as well as all the other marginalised identities they share)
posted by Faintdreams at 12:27 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


OMG every social media space I frequent has been just utter garbage for the last 10 days and of course more, but I've finally hit my wall and have been unfollowing/defriending/and even delurking for the first time ever to read some users for filth in other spaces. And it's been nice to have such utter clarity of a new one-strike-you're-out policy, but it's also just disheartening.

I expected nothing good of Metafilter and thus was not unduly disappointed by all of the white fragility/white performed wokeness that cropped up.
posted by TwoStride at 1:49 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


I'm neither here nor there in this situation (Indian who spent a few years in the US but no longer there) and I mostly read MeFi than comment so I'll just say:

This is no time for jokes. Every thread about race, or every thread about India for that matter, often has those inane "jokes" (haha what next will they build a death star/make everyone wear a yellow star). I usually stop reading a thread as soon as I encounter one of those jokes. And no, it's not your coping mechanism or "gallows humor" --- only people on the gallows get to say that.
posted by Idle Curiosity at 2:35 PM on June 6 [7 favorites]


The two asks primalux links to have been really upsetting me as well.

I think honestly they're quite representative of how MeFi handles race (badly), although they're far from the only posts demonstrating that on MeFi lately.

I think one of the elements I find most frustrating about MeFi discussions of racism is how many people like to proclaim they've done the work and are now not racist. As if it's a binary switch they've flipped. I'm not going to bother hunting down and deconstructing every recent example of this (although I'd love a name and shame compilation), but I did want to highlight Cortex's comment in the ask Primalux linked, because I think these words from the site owner are especially relevant vis a vis the state of Metafilter and its ability to address racism on site, let alone in the outside world.

Call out people in real life

Yeah. This is something I struggle with not so much for being unwilling to call people out but because the circumstances of my life are such that it's rare I'm in a position to do that in an off-line context. I'm a work-from-home homebody, my friends are pretty universally solidly ethical and aligned with social justice causes, the parts of my family I have any communication with at all are likewise pretty solid. I end up calling in friends and family now and then when they get into sketchy territory on the details, and even then it tends more to be a discussion than an intervention, but most of the people who are technically in my family and would need pushback aren't actually in my life at all. It leaves me feeling sometimes like I'm on island where I'm not doing the work other people have to because there's no good bridge access for jerks.

But I do a ton of interaction online, and one of the things I've been trying to think about is where it is possible for me to show up and do the work that I have been sometimes choosing not to. I want to spend time on MeFi because I know folks are pretty well aligned with where I want to be on this stuff. And I think it's really important to note that in large part over the years it's me who has become better aligned with what folks here have been trying to say and do, and it's benefited me enormously in that respect. For all the work we need to do and I need to do still, this place is my home and it is a place I can more or less trust folks to be trying to do the right thing even if we fail or fall short an awful lot.


I don't dispute that most of the people on MeFi are aligned with where Cortex wants to be with this stuff. That's the exact fucking problem. And if you think everyone in your social circle is somehow post-race, and holds the "correct" opinions, you are not paying attention. Let alone the assumption that you yourself are "correctly" aligned, or have any level of standing to assess other peoples' levels of racism.

This site is a fucking cesspool of white liberalism whose owner has to be memail'd to be politely asked not to use the full, spelled out n-word in a thread about anti-Blackness on MeFi (charitably - probably more accurate to say a thread about coddling white users' fragility). But you know, it's better than NextDoor so we can pat ourselves on the back.
posted by arabidopsis at 6:11 PM on June 6 [7 favorites]


Not related to Mefi, but this week I've been reminded of that scene in The Sopranos where the country club bankers ask Tony if he knew John Gotti.

How do I feel about these events?
The same way you should be feeling.

Have these issues affected me?
Sure, they should affect everyone.

Do I have anything I want to share?
Not really, no.
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 6:19 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


I wrote this comment recently, and while I didn't initially make this connection, I think it's describing part of what I find so frustrating about MeFi's modding practice around race.

Metafilter's mods (excluding our two new ones), have, when issues of racism on site have been brought to their attention, expressed a desire to have the site be not-racist. But they have not exhibited any understanding of what that would actually mean in modding practice. I find myself thinking about this Meta. The discussion by mods seemed to boil down to "before you told us to delete racist comments and now you're telling us not to? So which do you want????" As if deleting or not deleting are the only choices in the mod toolkit.

Returning to the miss-lapin Meta:
A second point is, as mods when we receive a flag on this kind of issue, we can try to consider the identity of the flagger and the commenter. For example, if this were flagged by a member who's black and a commenter who's not, then we would generally give more weight to the flag. Whereas if it were a non-black flagger, and a black commenter using this term, the decision would go the other way. BUT this raises the obvious problem that we don't always know either of those pieces of information about flagger or commenter. Sometimes we know it because people have mentioned their race in discussions on the site. But sometimes we just have no information. It's a thorny problem that will be ongoing, and I don't really see a good way around it; we'll get it wrong sometimes and have to apologize.

So the mod thought process is basically "ignore bad comments until they are flagged. If they are flagged by a BIPOC, delete it. Otherwise, do nothing". That's pretty much how I've seen it play out on this site. The motivating fear is "people might think we're racist" and the rules to achieve not appearing racist are "delete comments BIPOC tell me are bad". There's no requirement to actually understand nuances of anti-Blackness or racism, or expectation of being able to notice it without a BIPOC member bringing it to one's attention.

I want to say, maybe I shouldn't expect more. As we've established, the full-time mods (until now) have all been white, and thus cannot speak to the experience of being a BIPOC in this world and thus will miss nuance. No one time diversity training (did that happen by the way? What did it consist of?) is going to impart that understanding. But jesus, I'm not Black, and I know not to use the n-word, regardless of context. I grew up thinking of myself as white, and now I don't, but I don't assume that recognizing myself as Asian American has cleansed me of ever being racist.

I hope the new mods will bring a more nuanced level of modding to this site. But I think it's much more likely they'll end up as mascots that absolve the mod team from criticism, while being pressured by all involved to somehow fix MeFi's race problem. I don't envy them.
posted by arabidopsis at 6:35 PM on June 6 [9 favorites]


I mean honestly, all of what arabidopsis just said. We are essentially being asked to do unpaid labor that white members are not being asked to do. We are not moderators. These are tools that should already be in their kits as paid moderators of an inclusive site.
posted by primalux at 6:55 PM on June 6 [8 favorites]


Though I should say that I see Lobster Mitten being consistently proactive and good about these issues, but she is by far the only one.
posted by primalux at 6:57 PM on June 6 [6 favorites]


I'm very disappointed at the "heat, not light" deletions. You have built a site culture that is incredibly hostile towards PoC. To wade against this current of hostility already takes massive amounts of energy, and it should be absolutely fine if someone decides to do the bare minimum of contributing their experiences and insights, instead of going the extra mile to dress it up in niceties. Just because you've normalized PoC meeting you 100% of the way, instead of meeting people in the middle by looking past the presentation to the core message, doesn't mean that expectation is right and anyone not following it is rude. And I'm especially incensed by white liberals who concern troll by masking their own fragility under a veneer of education: "I would be able to take this directness, but other people are fragile, so the best way for you to reach them is to be nice."

It's all light, you dumbasses. For as much we have talked about respectability politics, you sure haven't internalized this message.

Speaking of which - I'm keeping my mind open about the new moderators. But I will note that I still find it very interesting that a lot of more vocal PoC members, who have had a long history of supporting other PoC and being direct about race, here applied for the job, and did not get it. And I know I can't directly accuse the site of this, because it has a billion alternative reasons why it could point to, but it really does feel like being vocal and direct about race is something the site views as inherently combative, to the point that a person is too volatile to be a moderator.
posted by Conspire at 7:01 PM on June 6 [27 favorites]


Yeah, as I have discussed in previous off site conversations, I *am* taking it personally that one of the many long-time POC members of this site that I know of who applied for the mod position were rejected in favor of people from outside of the site. Just to be clear I did not apply for this position, so I'm not taking it personally in that regard, but I can imagine the shitshow that would have resulted in previous "regular" moderators being hired from outside of the membership. The POC members that I am friendly with on this site are honestly the best part of being here at this point for me. It's very alienating to have this be the result.
posted by primalux at 7:09 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]


Yeah, as I told primalux and others “I’m ok with outsider mods bc Metafilter culture sucks.” But presumably that’s not what the hiring thought process was...
posted by arabidopsis at 7:22 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: It's all light, you dumbasses.

(Oh, would that English declined the vocative!)
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 7:37 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


I had been monitoring the recent two askmefis, I found them notable because they were both Asian American women in situations with a "white dude saying racist and racist adjacent things" as their partner in relation to coronavirus and the more recent ones in relation to the protests.

I hadn't remembered the underlying comments that was deleted for the "light not heat" and I appreciate it being reposted here because I remember it being along those lines - firm, but not insulting or a hot take. I think being called a racist is one of the scariest and closest thing to an race-related insult white people can suffer - maybe that's why it was interpreted as uncivil?
posted by Karaage at 7:53 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


I haven't thought about this in awhile, but it reminded me of an exchange I found extremely frustrating back in February regarding Asian Americans seeing more harassment as a result of covid.

You can see the conversation yourself, which I think was an important one, (although it's still painfully obvious to me that people I was arguing with weren't even addressing the points I was making).

But instead of letting it play out, it stamped out by one mod as a "bizarre derail" at which point I backed off but was left feeling like the mod didn't even want to try to understand, but then LobsterMittens came in later with a much more nuanced, empathetic view that made me feel like someone heard what I was trying to say and left me feeling like I didn't need to get back in it with the people lecturing me about things I already knew. Like wow, go back and read LMs mod note. That shows me someone who's genuinely trying to be nuanced.
posted by Karaage at 8:05 PM on June 6 [7 favorites]


Having spent the past month or so focusing my energies elsewhere from MeFi, I just wanted to drop in for now to say that LobsterMitten is a real one and that her mod notes would be great training material for new mods and old mods alike!
posted by rather be jorting at 8:19 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Honestly speaking, LobsterMitten is absolutely stellar. I think the site would be much more of an empathetic place if all of the moderators would adopt her willingness to make space. It's not that she always gets everything right, it's that she views people of different backgrounds than her as coming from an informed place and therefore tries to understand the issues underlying their behavior, instead of viewing them as problems or naughty children, I guess. I genuinely hope that the new moderators are being trained by her.
posted by Conspire at 8:23 PM on June 6 [8 favorites]


Oh yeah, the difference between taz and LobsterMitten in that thread was stark.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 8:30 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Hey so as one of the applicants for that job: I don't know if you're talking about me particularly, but I'm not really comfortable with being pitted against the two new mods. I got an interview, which led to a pretty good chat with cortex about site stuff. He did ask me a bunch of questions later about what my moderating philosophy would be. I haven't asked him why I got rejected, but that's on me - I was having a bad day when the email came and didn't feel up for asking him to explain, and I have a general antipathy towards asking for feedback after job rejections because 99.99% of them are useless garbage, so even if cortex's would have actually been useful I probably wasn't in the space to hear it. I appreciate that the new mods are QPOC and wish them luck.
posted by divabat at 9:11 PM on June 6 [8 favorites]


(also if one of you is @MefiOutsider on Twitter: please cut it out, you're kinda creeping me out to be honest and besides I'm one of those "trendy enbies" you seem to hate so much)
posted by divabat at 9:19 PM on June 6 [12 favorites]


I don't know if that was directed at me, but no, I know several people who applied and was just speaking in generalities about wishing that someone who had previously been a member was at least one of the mods they chose.

The twitter user you are talking about has harassed many of the people here and I don't think it's anyone that actively posts in these threads.
posted by primalux at 9:29 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


primalux: thank you. That user had tagged me on Twitter saying y'all were most likely talking about me and I wanted to make sure things didn't get too far into "rarrrr let's hate on the new mods rarrrr" territory like they were doing.
posted by divabat at 9:31 PM on June 6


Faintdreams - can you link to the Jim Butcher shit? Because I have heard several people say similar things and I am perhaps not good enough at Twitter to be able to find it?
posted by stoneweaver at 9:41 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Divabat - have you looked at their past tweets? It's like they're trying to hit all the bigoted checkboxes they possibly can, in addition to only focusing on cribbing PoC-related talking points when it serves to bolster their grudge against the mods. Great example of a transphobe demonstrating other prejudices in conjunction with viewing PoC as subhuman rhetorical devices to boot. I don't know why people keep assuming active PoC on the site are somehow affiliated with this twitter user, but I'm guessing they're a former MeFite who's been permabanned for whatever reason and can't think of anything better to do besides obsess over their grudge against MeFi (and seemingly every marginalized identity possible?) to compensate for some void in their own life.

It's fascinating how much energy they've devoted to repeatedly scouring MeFi for something to hate, over a period of, what, months? Years? 😂Kind of a bummer that they've spent so much time twibbling into the void on MeFi, tbh.

Probably best to block and report the user and move on.
posted by rather be jorting at 9:50 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Our tribe has been, as far as I can tell anyway, silent on the current events regarding BLM. Not surprising since, as I've said on here before, there's been not a little trouble regarding tribal council members punching down against certain family members in attempts to disenfranchise them and/or consolidate power. Not to mention a fraught past of lukewarm, at best, support of other groups that are not unlike our tribe even. My family is all aboard for other tribal pushes, and the current BLM protests of course, so that's something at least.

I wish I could go protest. My high risk status (lung (ABPA/asthma) and not super healthy weight) prevents that from being something I'm willing to roll the dice with so, yea, I'm a coward. Feels pretty crappy and like I'm letting POC friends and neighbors down, not to mention my kid's generation.

My interactions have been limited to not letting bullshit stand on hyper local social media and I did get a kudos from a random person who was an adoptive parent of a POC child saying thanks and that I restored some of her faith in the local community.

I'm just so tired of the casual, easy going racism along the complete and total bullshit lines of "All lives matter". It's such a garbage saying and always comes with zero attempt to engage with actual issues and takes so much energy to even begin to address comprehensively with words (verbal or written) that it's exhausting to try to educate/un-fuck someone who is, perhaps, reachable but so deep in ignorance and privilige that they're dangerously close to actively racist-lite.


Re: askmes and mods.

I didn't see those askme questions. But now...

I agree with everyone here saying that 'light not heat' is pretty shitty. If it was a standalone thing it'd be more 'not great, let's do better' but as it stands now with A) all the good people of the world finally putting some well and truly deserved heat on the powers that be regarding race and inequality on a level not seen since the civil rights movement (apologies if I've missed a movement this large in between but this one is the biggest in my living/woke memory anyway since Rodney King happend when I was just learning to read) and B) mods/members here already having been put on notice of how shitty things come across here sometimes... well, it's not great.

The mods have a hard job. I couldn't do it effectively. I'd screw someting up and/or drop a silly/bad mod note way more often than they do. But I think folks here in this thread are in the right for saying that they want better and being let down when it doesn't pan out that way.

In conclusion, non-POC folks can use some fucking heat now and then. Even myself who mostly presents as passing for not POC but benifiting from a family history that has taught me a few things about shitty treatment and oppression... even I can use some heat and prodding more often than I get it. Why are we sugar coating it and asking members here (POC included) to behave a certain way [light] vs letting them tell it the way it is [heat] and if that pisses off some members who aren't on the ally train by now, well, shit, they probably never will be by this point.

I love y'all. This site is a treasure. The membership is a beacon of intelligence and empathy and insight (for the most part). Let's support all of that and none of the rest.

/heat
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:08 PM on June 6 [10 favorites]


This place needs to do better. There are too many people asking black people, POC, visible minorities to carry the burden of their shit: Should I do this? Is this right? Am I doing this wrong?

Here's the answer: figure it out, it's on you. We had to figure out how to deal with the overt racism, the microaggressions. We had to learn to do all of that. so now it's on you, learn to be better. There are books, there are narrative films, documentaries, interviews, educational resources, it's all out there. So stop putting it on us to absolve you of things you know are wrong. That you're asking means you know on some level that something isn't right.

I'm just tired. I've stepped away from twitter and I'm avoiding the news. I get some big picture breaking news alerts, but I'm avoiding reading in too much detail. I tend to spiral and obsess over these issues, racist events at large, microaggressions, me just carrying all of the small instances where I've had to keep my mouth shut in my personal life because it's just easier to do that.

Just try to be better and try not to put it on all of us. We're already carrying the weight of history and our current times.

*sighs*

I love MetaFilter. I try to make it a better place, I try to model that by posting things that make people smile and let them see that the world is larger than we think it is. I want this place to work, I want it to thrive, and I want people to feel comfortable here.

Thanks for listening.
posted by Fizz at 5:06 AM on June 7 [22 favorites]


Fizz, your posts on various and sundry items are a treasure and a bastion of sanity in a doomscrolling world. I don't comment much but I read them almost everytime. Thanks.
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:57 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]


How does one get an edit into the MeFi Wiki?

Divabat put together a list of 43 MeTas about racism on MeFi between 2001 and 2017. It'd be great if we could keep that up to date.

I'm also curious if there's been any movement on updating the Microaggressions and making space page to consider the possibility that the reader is a PoC. EM said that was "on the list" last year.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 8:54 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]


I am hoping the new QPOC mods will herald a change to the problems we have seen here. Obviously they are just two people and not responsible for fixing an entire site. But representation is important and I was happy to see they’ve got experience with anti racism training. I also agree with the comments above about LobsterMitten, whose modding most often aligns with what I would expect of a thoughtful, aware mod.

Speaking of modding, I missed the deleted comments in that Ask. That a firm but not insulting answer by a WOC was deleted and the light not heat rationale given by a mod is indeed disappointing. When I commented, I really felt the need to confirm to the asker that, whatever she ended up deciding to do, that yes her husband is definitely racist and blind to his own privilege and no, she isn’t being unreasonable, and it is definitely not on her to do the heavy lifting of educating him.

Random, non site related thoughts:

There’s been a large increase in the number of hate crimes against Asians in and around Vancouver, where my parents live. My mom is Chinese and I worry about her getting targeted. Now that the stay at home conditions are easing there, and my dad is recovering from the serious accident he had back in January (yes it’s been a shit year so far), the two of them have been going out for more walks so Dad can practice using his walker. I keep picturing someone attacking my mom first, and then my (white) dad trying to defend her and him getting attacked too. Or them attacking him for being with her. I don’t want either of them to get attacked! I also worry about my brother, who is half Chinese like me and looks more Asian—in addition, he also has experience being profiled by the police, so I worry about him getting beaten up by a member of the public or the police. Or both. Christ things are fucked up.

My partner and I attended a BLM protest in our small city where the organizers asked for speakers from the Black and Indigenous communities here; several of our local chiefs have been quite vocal about supporting BLM while also highlighting that here in Canada police violence against Indigenous people is a huge problem. I was very heartened to see people, BIPOC and white, come out in vast numbers to protest in my (generally stereotyped as redneck) community. As a POC who is not Black or Indigenous I’ve felt it’s important to be present and supportive of those communities, but as a POC I also personally derive comfort from knowing there are people in my community who are anti racist.

Anyway I’m rambling now so I’ll stop, but finally, I want to say thank you to primalux for starting a new POC MetaTalk.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:58 AM on June 7 [5 favorites]


> Sending love and solidarity to all POC on MeFi right now, but especially Black MeFites. It's been a devastating week and I hope you are all taking care of yourselves.

Seconding the above!

Linking the following resource in hopes it might help anyone checking the thread:

Self-Care Tips for Black People Who Are Struggling With This Very Painful Week (VICE) - lots of empathetic and practical advice, imo, especially in the subsections regarding changing your media intake & setting firm boundaries around engaging with people. For example:
Having to manage other people’s feelings in this moment—whether those people are well-meaning, would-be allies, or bad faith actors—is just too much, and it’s not your job as a Black person. You won’t always be able to opt out, of course, but give yourself permission to do so more often to the extent that you can.

Maybe you decide to stop engaging with people who clearly aren’t entering discussions in good faith, who aren’t willing to do any reading, or who try to bait you into an argument with classics like, “Hm, seems like you’re being pretty intolerant of me right now.”

In cases when you do want to engage without having to burden yourself further, you may want to start keeping a couple of links handy and that you can send to people who come to you with genuine questions—the implication being that you’re happy they want to learn more, but they aren’t entitled to a three-hour lesson directly from you, personally, when so much great information already exists. (Here’s one on general allyship with a corresponding YouTube video; a list of ways white people can take action in response to state-sanctioned violence; and my personal reading recommendations. And: It's also more than fine if you don't feel inclined to do this at all.)

Or: Maybe now is the time to get comfortable saying, “I’m not the best audience for this,” when people want to process their feelings about racism with you. Look for small ways to protect your time and energy right now, and allow yourself to hold that line.
posted by rather be jorting at 11:12 AM on June 7 [7 favorites]


R. Eric Thomas is a pop culture writer and a black queer man and he's one of my favorites. Usually his stuff makes me laugh, but today his newsletter made me cry. This piece he wrote that he links to in it is very very good. I wanted a pull quote but it's all worth quoting so I'm just going to link: When All Of This Is Over: On The Narrative Of Protest And Progress
posted by primalux at 11:23 AM on June 7 [5 favorites]


I'll go ahead an link to his newsletter from this week as well. I think it's worth reading.
posted by primalux at 11:25 AM on June 7 [3 favorites]


I realized after reading rather be jorting’s comment that I had not explicitly said it, so now I will. Sending love and solidarity to all the POC here but particularly holding Black Mefites in my heart. What a devastating past couple of weeks.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:28 AM on June 7 [5 favorites]


Yes, sending love to all black mefites, this week has been tough and I am sending power and love to all of you.
posted by Fizz at 11:33 AM on June 7 [5 favorites]


I, too, stand in solidarity and support with all and any black members here. I hope there is a true sea change happening, here and in the country and in the world, and I will give support in any way I can to make that a reality.
posted by primalux at 1:44 PM on June 7 [4 favorites]


Things I've been thinking about, recently:

1) Differential power relationships. Most people are fixated on relationships where they are in positions of less power (cause they have to be). Just about everyone, however, has some relationships where they're either explicitly or implicitly in the position of more power. One's well-being doesn't directly depend on their thinking about relationships where they have more power - so most understandably spend much less time, there.

2) Trust. Do you trust your superiors? Do your subordinates trust you? How are your criteria to trust those above you different than your understanding of the criteria of those below you? They're unlikely to be the same.

3) Am I obligated to take part? Sometimes you just can't (or really shouldn't) opt-out of certain relationships or communities. Others you're free to choose to be a part of (or are free to choose to not be a part of).

For me personally, I found these points super clarifying - especially in terms of explicitly defined relationships, like in my expectations of myself as a parent vs. my expectations of my own parent, or in terms of myself as a manager vs. my expectations of my management. In my case, I already knew that I needed to figure out how to earn and keep the trust of my kid and my reports. I only recently realized I wasn't really holding either my parent or my management chain to the same standard.

And you can look at just about everything through this lens. Has this police officer acted in a way to earn my trust? Has this white person? Has this predominantly white community or space? If the answer is "no" - are you obligated to continue having a relationship with them? More - are they doing anything to build trust with you? Are they allowing you that decision? Or are they acting like they're entitled to your trust?

At the same time - brown people aren't a monolith. There's good reason for other brown or black folks to not trust me or people who look like me, either - so me and people who look like me have got work to do, too.

tl;dr - time is short, and you can't make more. When I have the choice, I'm very purposely trying to spend mine more intentionally.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 9:17 PM on June 7 [10 favorites]


Lmao @ black American mainstream culture being good enough for everybody to imitate or pay homage to but our "culture" is the first thing that gets blamed when we get killed, or beaten, or, like, exist while visibly black. Non-black POC or white friends, family and partners aren't going to erase this apparent enduring stigma.

Everybody wanna be black but don't nobody wanna be black.

I feel like something broke in me after engaging for the last few years weeks in social media and protests and stuff but I can't talk about feeling traumatized without sounding dramatic. I still feel like I'm under siege? Like more so than the background radiation of racism and dread? Writing that sounds stupid. I still work hard (glad to have an essential job) and attend my tabletop campaign and engage like a regular person because wtf can you do without being repetitive and one note? I'm not even 30 yet. When I see a cop car I feel sick. I obsessively check our locks because of what happened to to Breonna Taylor (not that it would have saved her).
posted by Freeze Peach at 9:40 AM on June 8 [32 favorites]


You don’t sound like you’re being dramatic to me, Freeze Peach. Your response sounds perfectly understandable given the intense anti-black racism you’re exposed to constantly. You quite rightly fear for your own life and the life of those you love, and that is exhausting and terrifying. I’m so sorry. I can’t know what it is like to be black, but my heart hurts for you just reading your description of what you are going through.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:12 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


Freeze Peach - you're describing a form of racial PTSD and know it's a Trope around these parts, but you can find licensed Black therapists that can help you with better coping mechanisms to .. uhm.. cope.

Good luck.

Therapy is not always the answer, but it can definitely help you hone the correct questions.
posted by Faintdreams at 1:34 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]


Thank you all for your comments and for listening, I appreciate it. And to clarify upon rereading I wasn't like directly talking to anyone or calling anyone out with my last sentence in the first paragraph, it was purely a general statement. Seeing people talk about their solidarity is great.
posted by Freeze Peach at 6:47 PM on June 8 [6 favorites]


I am just exhausted. That's really where I'm at.

I'm a WOC who is partnered with a white(ish) man and I gave somewhat gentle advice in that thread but like...it wasn't because I think it's right that WOC are Baby's First Race Discussion for twenty-thirtysomething white men over and over again. It's because the actual answer is that white dudes leave WOC when they're honest about their feelings already and everyone who is in that situation who can afford to leave usually has, so like why would I offer that suggestion, if that were an option it would already be on the table.

Which is exhausting thinking about it, tbh. Fuck.
posted by corb at 2:17 PM on June 9 [9 favorites]


I came to type a quick comment about learning a new dimension to a childhood fable and instead got suckered into typing out several paragraphs on Chinese history, historical constructions of race, and the construction of political continuity.

This would have been an opportunity for a better class of mods to have stepped in.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 7:23 AM on June 10 [6 favorites]


I've spent the week dipping into #BlackintheIvory and #PublishingPaidMe on Twitter and man, just stewing.
posted by TwoStride at 2:07 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


Hey Freeze Peach, I want to send you compassion and good vibes.

I feel the tiredness emanating from posts on this thread. I am also tired. I'm a POC who works in issues around race and institutional racism, so have been used for some time to having awkward, tone-deaf conversations around race with white people who would be horrified if you said they were being racist, but who are constantly using stupid generalisations, stereotypes, microaggressions, etc. I have written elsewhere on MeFi how I feel like I have to work twice as hard as others to get the same level of recognition as my white colleagues.

That has been the case prior to BLM and since BLM, the number of stupid conversations I've found myself involved in has escalated both in and outside work.

I am really, really tired of white people telling me how uncomfortable they feel talking about race, they don't know enough so really should they be sharing BLM-related resources on social media, they're so worried they'll say the wrong thing. I've always been sympathetic on the surface because I've been socialised to be a Nice Person (TM) but inwardly I just feel like, I don't care about how you feel. This is reality for many, many people. Educate yourself. Sit with your discomfort. It's not going to kill you. It's not my job to make you feel better about yourself. To be fair, though, I think this is on the verge of changing. I feel that my legendary Nice Person-ness is starting to wear extremely thin.

But worse than the well-meaning white person looking to me to soothe them is the white person who is aggressively uninterested in engaging with the discourse around race. Again, they would never consider themselves racist, but they have a very fixed, black-and-white view of things and no interest in understanding that it's their privilege as a white person that allows them to see things in a very fixed, black-and-white way. e.g "Vandalism of statues is wrong." "The protests are wrong because mass gatherings in the time of Covid-19 could lead to the disease spreading." These points of view lack nuance. They push back when I point out examples of racism. "Are you sure you're not just being oversensitive?" (I'm not being oversensitive.) "Are you sure that isn't a fake article?" (It isn't a fake article.) The sad thing is, these are people I consider friends! But it's like, are they really my friends? I don't know. I am tired and angry and sad.

Re: Metafilter: I have read and participated in many, many threads that made me want to nope out, but I will say, I am glad to call this community home. (I've been a member for 10 years, even though my current username is quite new.) I appreciate that the discourse around race is not perfect but improving. I appreciate that, while I'll never be half as intelligent or eloquent as many people on this site, participating here has helped me to refine my thinking about many things, including race and racism.
posted by unicorn chaser at 5:56 AM on June 11 [13 favorites]


It has never been more obvious to me how many white people would rather be silent than be wrong and called out. I see it in this community but I also see it all over the place. There's this constant almost pleading for BIPOC to tell them now to be perfectly non-racist and the implication always feels like if you can't tell them how and deal with all of their concerns, they're just not going to try - "But what about this case??" "But what about when this happens??"

I'm so tired - a)it's not our job. AT ALL and b)BIPOC aren't perfect at being non-racist either! There is so much inter and intra community shit that goes on in our communities. Somehow we're working on it and figuring it out without putting the burden on the people who aren't the ones needing to do the work.
posted by primalux at 7:03 AM on June 11 [8 favorites]


Sorry, it's early, that was me agreeing with and piggybacking off of some of what unicorn chaser had to say.
posted by primalux at 7:04 AM on June 11


My energy levels seems finite lately. I've been exhausted. I took a break from social media to get my energy up. Replying to primalux above:
a) Just a few weeks ago I was explicitly asked to let a white man know whenever he lets out a microaggression. WHENEVER. I had pre-emptively told him a few times prior is not my job. Is he not listening to me because I'm not white? I can't say I'm surprised. He actually thinks figuring out what's racist means thinking about it and not ever reading/asking/learning something new. As if he can just distill meaning after a long think.

b) BIPOC definitely aren't perfect at being non-racist. Do white people think the P in POC means Paragon?
posted by mayurasana at 9:16 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


For folks who are feeling defensive or baffled while reading this thread, may I recommend Dolly Chugh's book The Person You Mean to Be: How to Fight Bias. It is my new (just finished it this morning!) recommendation for folks who are on the "what should I do, I'm scared of doing something wrong but I definitely know that I can't sit on the sidelines." I include myself in this as an Asian American who does _some_ anti-racist work within the context of urban planning but knows that I should and could be doing so much more to address anti-Blackness specifically. Chugh is a woman of color (Indian American) but doesn't shy away from confronting her own sexism and racism as examples of what it takes to "build" towards instead of just "believing" in equity.

There's so much action-oriented stuff in the book and really helpful framing (for me at least) in that we are practicing how to be Good-ish people rather than angling for affirmation that we are Good people. Chugh cites Roxane Gay's identity of "bad feminist" as an inspiration/example of this.
When we are in a fixed mindset, we are walking on I’m-a-good-person eggshells. We are in a constant struggle to not say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing. I call this overwhelming feeling the “fixed mindset tax” because it is taxing on our attention.We focus less on the project, person, or policy at hand and more on not being wrong. Furthermore, our preoccupation with not being wrong means that we will not learn from our mistakes, which means we are even more likely to be wrong. The fixed mindset tax can be costly.
I joked on Twitter that this is the first time I've actually found the growth vs fixed mindset concepts helpful.

This section I am sharing for people alarmed by what feels like "too much anger."
Rabbi Solomon explains, be prepared to be uncomfortable. “Sometimes, when I am proximate to someone’s problems, I begin to realize how much privilege I have as a male, as someone with light skin, and so on,” he confesses. “It can be very discombobulating internally. Even though I’m trying to be helpful, they are angry at me. And they have the right to be angry. But it can be socially, psychologically dangerous to feel attacked. It’s very hard work.”

Rabbi Solomon’s description—hard work—perfectly explains how it feels to cope with self-threat. We will not always get the affirmation we crave. Craving the affirmation does not make us bad people as long as we work to see the craving for what it is and prevent it from being a burden to others.
Chugh also brings up what folks have written here already:
African American spoken-word artist Christopher Owens could not believe his white friends had done it again. For the twenty-seventh time (not a typo), a white friend had tagged him on Facebook with a request. “My friend will say ‘Hey, my mom’s friend is saying racist stuff on my page, so could you explain racism to her? I want to say something, but I know it would resonate more if you said it.’” After the twenty-seventh Facebook tag, Christopher was done. He explains, “It’s exhausting to explain to people who aren’t oppressed that you’re oppressed.”
posted by spamandkimchi at 12:33 PM on June 11 [11 favorites]


I think I've mentioned before that I feel uncomfortable about posting in these threads because I'm mostly-white and pretty much entirely white-passing, but I just have to vent real quick:

People sure do hate it when you point out that a mediocre white dude is, in fact, mediocre, don't they?
posted by tobascodagama at 12:54 PM on June 11 [11 favorites]


(And by people, I include mods who will let snarky defences of said white dude stand while deleting snarky responses to them. Don't think I didn't see that.)
posted by tobascodagama at 12:55 PM on June 11 [4 favorites]


BIPOC definitely aren't perfect at being non-racist. Do white people think the P in POC means Paragon?

I don't know if that's better or worse than white people who, while this is going on, just cannot accept their whiteness and want to somehow slide into the same category. Like: yeah, 100% that anti-blackness is a thing, and it exists in many communities of color and needs to be confronted, but by /us/, not white people being the ones to focus on that while desperately trying to avoid accounting for their own selves.
posted by corb at 1:40 PM on June 11 [5 favorites]


Oh hey, I hardly ever check this part of the site. A belated thank you to so much modern time for the compliment! I'm glad you enjoy my posts.

As for the rest of it...I'm really sorry at what the Black Mefites are currently having to deal with at the moment. It just sucks overall. :/

I hope everyone can find ways to maintain and preserve their sanity and health.
posted by toastyk at 6:54 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


If the mods deleted something defensively, I sure would like to know what it was.
posted by tiny frying pan at 4:35 AM on June 12


The transparency policy at lobste.rs includes the following:
All moderator actions on this site are visible to everyone...While the individual actions of a moderator may cause debate, there should be no question about if an action happened
MeFi has effectively had a moderation log for post deletions in the form of the MetaFilter Deleted Posts blog, and it came in handy when the mods deleted a post by jj's.mama about racism at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

As far as I know, the MetaFilter Deleted Posts blog exploits an implementation detail in the site's software. It is not officially sanctioned and not guaranteed to keep working.

I'd be excited to see MetaFilter adopt a site transparency policy that included official logs of all moderation actions.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 6:33 AM on June 12 [12 favorites]


it appears that the deleted posts blog is not working correctly?
posted by anem0ne at 8:01 AM on June 12


Oh yeah, the deleted post blog stopped updating after 17 July 2019, a couple months after little dawn used it to find jjs.mama's deleted post.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 8:08 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]


There is a deleted posts script that still works - I can't link because work blocks Github, etc but it's out there.
posted by primalux at 9:03 AM on June 12


I don't know if I have it in me to continue to be on this site. Site leadership is saying "oh we wish that BIPOC would air their issues here instead of offsite on the slack" when the reason we use the slack is because airing our issues here often feels like screaming into the void and for as long as we've been having serious conversations about race and how this site deals with it, there seems to be very little actionable change. So some of us try talking about it in the other Meta about race that is currently happening and are just getting shot down and have also been told that our conversations have caused TRAUMA to the moderators.

I'm saying this here because right now, the BIPOC users are the only ones I have any sort of affinity for or trust that this will make sense and be understood by. I've been reading this site for literally 20 years and have tried to put a lot into it since I became an active user. Poctakeover was my initial idea even though so many people put work into it. I really wanted this to be a place where BIPOC felt valued, heard, and seen. I don't believe that's possible anymore.
posted by primalux at 7:58 PM on June 13 [17 favorites]


❤️ primalux.

It’s weird because MeFi brought me to MetaPOC which has been such a wonderful source of support and love and I’m so grateful to have met all of you. But it’s a crappy thing that we keep having to support each other through these trash fire threads on site
posted by arabidopsis at 8:01 PM on June 13 [4 favorites]


Apropos nothing, except my disheartened at myself comment above, I went to the local BLM protest/march today. Said fuck it and masked up and wife and her business partner donated water and masks and we took the kids and it was a great small town rally with the only drama being after the fact armchair quarterbacking by social media assholes which are not worth even taking the bait on.

Good day.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:17 PM on June 13 [5 favorites]


Did I miss something going down recently?

Sorry that you feel so unsupported, primalux. I definitely feel that way sometimes, too. It's like so many comment threads are just so... alien to my lived experiences.
posted by TwoStride at 8:32 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Well I just had to flag a three day old comment that repeatedly used the fully spelled out N WORD (quoting but still) and there were several comments after which means people saw it and uh......?

But also this current meta is the main thing that has killed my hope for this site.
posted by primalux at 8:44 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Just posting here for the record because this time I saw it in real time versus the other one mentioned before which I had to look back on. Three full days before a racial slur was deleted. It's telling to me the priority of what gets seen and deleted here sometimes.
posted by xtine at 8:46 PM on June 13 [5 favorites]


Ok, I'm catching up on the current meta now. What a shitshow.
posted by TwoStride at 8:56 PM on June 13 [4 favorites]


I opened that up and it made my head hurt so I closed it.
posted by corb at 9:51 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


I honestly couldn't get past the title, like, what the fuck?
posted by tobascodagama at 2:04 PM on June 14 [4 favorites]


I came across this 101-level Buzzfeed list called "Want To Be A Good Ally? Here Are Some Things To Ask Yourself" that I think might be good reading for any white people that are reading this thread and wondering what they can do about any of the issues we've been talking about here. Your allyship should extend to all areas of your life, and that includes Metafilter.
posted by primalux at 3:01 PM on June 14 [6 favorites]


Thanks, primalux, for creating this thread. I have written and deleted this comment a zillion times down, but every version boils down to one thing: I am so very tired right now. Even with energizing things happening around our rights, with large bunches of previous clueless or apathetic people getting motivated and coming out to protest, or speaking out at work, or on social media. I want to feel hopeful and energized by the appearance of momentum after what feels like an eternity of stagnation, erosion, and apathy. But instead I feel numb and exhausted. I read threads here on MeFi and...half the time I can barely make it through before I click away. Or I type out replies but end up deleting them: I'm just too tired to...risk it? To engage? To invest? Something.
posted by skye.dancer at 1:53 PM on June 15 [10 favorites]


I read threads here on MeFi and...half the time I can barely make it through before I click away. Or I type out replies but end up deleting them: I'm just too tired to...risk it? To engage? To invest? Something.

I feel this so hard. I still read links here sometimes but comment threads are another story. It feels like the entire world is changing, rapidly and radically, and this place is just....staying the same.
posted by primalux at 2:09 PM on June 15 [7 favorites]


I’ve been trying to think of how to express my wide ranging thoughts in that thread but really, suedehead’s comment expressed what I wanted to say very well.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:30 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Here’s something I’ve been thinking about:

I finally opened an account on metafilter, after lurking for many years, to give some input from my perspective as a Jew of color. I have a lot of frustration in how the dynamics between white Jews and POC play out in the larger world, and i suppose it’s not surprising that these dynamics are echoed on metafilter as well.

There has been a lot of discussion about how anti-semitism is another thing metafilter doesn’t do well, and I don’t disagree. But sometimes it feels like the site and the world at large require POC and Jews to occupy oppositional positions. People bring up the antisemitism of the Black Israelites, and other people bring up how many US Jews cling to their newfound whiteness in a way that harms groups that are still racialized. And both those things slide very easily into anti-Blackness or blaming the fact that the Shoah gets recognized in a way other genocides don’t on shadowy control of the media. And I end up feeling like there’s no space for me to be both Jewish and racialized, that whenever I try to resist either claim, I’m betraying someone.

Sometimes these are conversations that I want to say should be processed in-group, rather than in a big public forum, like I would about certain dynamics within the Asian American community, but where is the in-group? The very small group of POC Jews? And then the conversation of being POC and Jewish is (understandably) so often about being a Black Jew in the US, which is a really different experience. Or about being a convert, or Mizrahi or Beta Israel in Israel. So my in group circle gets tinier and tinier, till it’s just me and my sisters. Because how many other matrilineal Japanese American Jews are there?

And this is how white supremacy works. We separate Asian Americans as model minorities, so we can say Black people just aren’t trying hard enough. We say the Shoah was a uniquely evil event so we don’t have to contemplate the horror of the deliberate genocide of Native people. We say China and Japan were imperialist powers too, so we can’t possibly address British imperialism. You cut and cut so that there’s no possibility of solidarity across groups, so that the institution of white supremacy never gets addressed.

So I dunno. I’ll keep trying. Keep being yellow peril supporting black power, and pointing out that never again is now, but also distinguishing between solidarity and empathy, reminding myself and everyone else that bigotry is wrong not because my people were also subject to it, but because it is immoral in and of itself. But it sometimes feels so impossibly lonely.
posted by arabidopsis at 10:58 AM on June 19 [19 favorites]


I shared this link on the slack but I thought people here might appreciate it as well: She 'Rode That Bias Off a Cliff': Man Who Filmed SF Viral Video on Handling 'Karens'. It's about an incident that happened in SF where a woman called the cops on a POC for chalking his own property with "Black Lives Matter" but the notable thing for me is that it reads like it is directed explicitly toward BIPOC who might find themselves in a similar situation and would like advice on how to react or deal with it. It stood out to me that it doesn't explicitly say that, and it's not on a site that is explicitly aimed at BIPOC, but it's clearly talking to us first and foremost. It's one of the first times I've felt seen in that way by general news media.
posted by primalux at 1:21 PM on June 19 [7 favorites]


Freeze Peach, I don't think you'd sound dramatic for very understandably feeling traumatized by the last few years (as well as just by the history of how we got to this point in general). They're totally valid concerns to have, especially when the difference in whose feelings and emotions get seen as normal is weighed so heavily against black women overall, and it makes sense to watch out for how you're seen. But also, I just want to emphasize that the feelings you have aren't an overreaction, regardless of how other people might interpret them. ❤️
posted by rather be jorting at 3:00 PM on June 19 [3 favorites]


Anyway, speaking of links we've been sharing in the slack that people in this thread might appreciate, I really enjoyed seeing the following today:

Sources of Self-Regard: Self-Portraits From Black Photographers Reflecting on America (NY Times)

Regarding overall site culture, I started making a simple FPP for the link, just a quick single-link post without fretting over selecting the perfect pull-quote or excerpt - then remembered the many threads I've seen get derailed by people who wanted to quibble over some minor irrelevant (and often just inaccurate) tangent without even looking at the FPP's actual content (or worse!), and eventually figured it wouldn't be worth the trouble to post, due to the apprehension of anticipating the need to personally moderate the thread for the next 30 days, or, in the event I just drop the link and move on, I'd be creating a potential burden on fellow PoC to keep an eye on how the thread goes, because we've been trained by experience to do so due to how often we've had to already do so on other threads related to PoC. (Which isn't to diminish any of the improvements that have already occurred on the site, and hopefully will continue to occur and increase - just an acknowledgement of the site culture as it currently exists, and has been existing.)
posted by rather be jorting at 3:32 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]


meaty shoe puppet asked: "How does one get an edit into the MeFi Wiki?"

1. go to http://mefiwiki.com/
2. use the Create Account link in the upper right corner http://mefiwiki.com/w/index.php?title=Special:CreateAccount&returnto=Main+Page and create an account
3. while logged in, go to the page you want to edit, such as http://mefiwiki.com/wiki/Collaborative_FPP_Drafting
4. look along the top for the word "edit" which is a link like http://mefiwiki.com/w/index.php?title=Collaborative_FPP_Drafting&action=edit and use that
5. make the changes you want, use the "show preview" button at the bottom to see what the change will look like, and use the "save changes" button at the bottom to save your edit
posted by brainwane at 3:36 PM on June 19


Oh and while I'm sharing links, I thought the following was a good read, and especially wanted to highlight the emphasis on centering black emotional well-being:

Finding Black Joy in Times of Crisis (Felice León for The Root):
Centering black joy does not serve to quell white fears or anxieties — black joy is for the sanity of black people. Make no mistake: we are rightfully enraged, but black joy serves as self-preservation. We need black joy to nourish our souls, and to survive.
posted by rather be jorting at 3:36 PM on June 19 [6 favorites]


I'd like if these posts became link-sharing threads, too. Because, yeah: I'm tired of discussions on the Blue that derail in all kinds of ways, including tons of "let me reminisce about how unbothered I was to grow up as a white person in the super racist South!" like we had a bunch of in the last week or so...
posted by TwoStride at 11:34 PM on June 19 [7 favorites]


On a completely unrelated note, I just learned why my Slack emoji menu has a few Chinese characters, named either with their Unicode code point or some not-very-apropos English word.

E.g., 得 means a couple of things depending on whether you read it as de2, de, or dei3. None of those usages immediately explain why the emoji is named :bargain:.

Turns out they're named according to their use as loan words in Japan for captioning of television broadcasts (pdf).

How that got announced as "support for popular symbols in Asia" is probably unsurprising, and a re-rail of this thread back to issues on the site.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 8:11 AM on June 20 [2 favorites]


I'd like if these posts became link-sharing threads, too. Because, yeah: I'm tired of discussions on the Blue that derail in all kinds of ways, including tons of "let me reminisce about how unbothered I was to grow up as a white person in the super racist South!" like we had a bunch of in the last week or so...

Ugh, I'm sorry you had to read that
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 9:01 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


man I remember when we couldn't post about police brutality here because like it would just make people mad or whatever and like...lol, the reactionary white politics with a veneer of educated coastal literacy is not a new thing and idk why i sometimes expect it to not be a thing here
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 1:21 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


like i remember when "stuff white people like" kept getting posted and deleted and then wonder why i think that fragility is not a driving force behind the moderation practices on this site. maybe i too am vulnerable to being misled by the idea that polite educated white people are good on race. maybe something to think about more on my end
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 1:23 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


Today is June 21st.

On June 6th I said:

Also when the two new Mods were announced and it was stated that they both come from Outside Metafilter, I just thought ' Welcome to the Shark Tank ' what a time to start this particular job as a POC (as well as all the other marginalised identities they share)
posted by Faintdreams at 7:27 PM on June 6


YUP.
posted by Faintdreams at 1:32 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]



The Let's talk About Race (baby) Metatalk Thread is just so..

Tiring? I'm gonna go with Tiring.

I'm Bone Tired Y'all.

And Sad. So very, very sad.
posted by Faintdreams at 1:34 PM on June 21 [9 favorites]


Just a few miscellaneous links to things I've read/heard/seen lately:

What to Do With All This Anger (from JP Brammer's Hola Papi newsletter). A fave excerpt:
Lucky for us, though, multiple things can be true. Things can be bad, and they can be good. We can be angry and useful, angry and productive, angry and righteous. I think anger is like lightning, BNB. You can be a conductor and let it travel through you, let it galvanize and energize, or you can let it burn you to a crisp. Letting it burn you to a crisp doesn’t mean you’re wrong. You can be angry for all the right reasons, and in the end, still be a very correct crisp.
It’s the End of the iPhone-Notes-App-Apology Era (Vanity Fair): There’s a new apology aesthetic around these parts—and it maintains the aesthetic of the grid at the expense of actually saying anything. (Some great commentary on Instagram as a PR tool, but if anything, please just look for the "I have been called out." graphic alone 😂)

A Reckoning At Bon Appétit (The Sporkful) (podcast episode w/ a text recap + wide array of related links)

---

Interviews/features related to films directed by Black women: posted by rather be jorting at 3:58 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


I looooove JP Brammer and not just because we like the same 90s country music but it helps
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 4:22 PM on June 21


ugh on the fireworks thread. is there a thing called whitesplaining? like... if there is an issue that BIPOC are concerned about, maybe don't assume that they foolishly didn't consider the simplest explanation and need you to condescendingly tell them that they're imagining things. you might disagree with someone's conclusions or thoughts, but take someone at their word when they say they have a different lived experience than you.
posted by devrim at 5:18 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


i call it whitesplaining! or sometimes just generalized splaining because I'm femme enough that there is sometimes an intersectional splain going on :)
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 5:29 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


Oh yeah, I definitely use the term "whitesplaining" because it is very much A THING. And pretty damn common on this site.
posted by primalux at 6:05 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


Yup. There was some fierce whitesplaining in a thread about anti-Asian racism and COVID where Asian American members were discussing how anti-mask-wearing sentiment in the US intersects with and is fueled by perceptions of Asians (who often wore masks pre-COVID) as foreign and effeminate, and some white Americans felt the need to explain that actually, American culture is all about freedom and rebellion and it has nothing to do with being anti-Asian. Like thanks I was confused about the culture of the country where I and my parents and grandparents and great-grandparents have lived all our lives but I'm sure you are educated enough about the fine points of anti-Asian racism to dismiss it out of hand. And the thread that's causing some hubbub in the other race MeTa because of a deleted mod comment is also full of whitesplaining, of the specific variety where white people are in such a rush to show that THEY'RE enlightened that they end up denying the lived experiences of POC.

I've been pissed enough at the state of things here lately to think seriously about buttoning, and I have zero desire to participate in that other MeTa and get hit with a brick wall of white fragility; I've said my piece and if site ownership wants to keep on the way they're going that's on them. I do feel hope reading some of the comments made by white allies in that thread - I think the sea change in the U.S. has made its way here too and white people are starting to believe that this is their problem. I'm not convinced it will change the site culture here but as a broader indicator it seems like a hopeful thing.
posted by sunset in snow country at 7:48 PM on June 21 [17 favorites]


Ugh ok I'm stepping away from the thread about the white lady and her black poodle.
posted by TwoStride at 1:19 PM on June 22 [4 favorites]


I haven't been in these recent race Metas because I've been too tired to deal with all of this lately but that white lady and dog thread really pissed me off when it first went up. I'm glad to see some people are pushing back in there now and thank you to 23skidoo, I'm sorry I didn't say something earlier.

There was a recent deleted post, of a twitter thread that Ava DuVernay called, "one of the best threads on the criminalization of Black people that I’ve read lately." But the poster didn't like the way the thread was going so it was deleted for being too contentious, or something. And sure, that was a thread that was obviously going to pick up some ignorant comments but it had the potential to lead to some introspection and self-reflection by white users about their own racial privilege in America. It could have been a great place for white users to somewhat messily talk about race and their own relation to it and benefits from it instead of in other threads where they rightly get told to maybe listen and not talk so much.

The white lady black dog thread:
1. Lets them look at pictures of dogs
2. Moves the focus from white person culpability and racial privilege to Bastard Cops and Those Other White People Who Are Bad and allows everyone to feel virtuous.

Way to solve racism Metafilter.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:05 PM on June 22 [10 favorites]


ActingTheGoat: I thought the exact same thing about those two threads. I can't even bring myself to read the dog one.
posted by primalux at 7:30 PM on June 22 [6 favorites]


2. Moves the focus from white person culpability and racial privilege to Bastard Cops and Those Other White People Who Are Bad and allows everyone to feel virtuous.

Right? And like, my biggest annoyance with the article is that there is an exact moment where the author even says "How could I be so stupid?" with regards to being blissfully unaware that cops likely thought her dog was a black person, and I'm like "GO THERE; EXAMINE WHY IT TOOK YOU SO LONG TO FIGURE OUT WHY YOU WERE GETTING STOPPED" and then it isn't examined, and I'm sooooo disappointed. Because like, I felt like I was watching the Sixth Sense for the 30th time reading the article for the first time, like-

me: *opens article, sees picture of black poodle in front seat of car*
me: *reads title of article*
me: "okay, it's going to be that cops are constantly pulling her over because they think her dog is a black person, and Bruce Willis has been a ghost the whole movie

Like, I wish she was writing a story with the subtext "I realize I try not to think about racism and that makes me less likely to see racism in others, and I wonder what other obviously racist things I'm just not seeing" instead of the subtext of the story she wrote. Ultimately, I think that piece just wasn't for me, and the article makes that clear up front, that she's writing this with a (clueless) white audience in mind.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:53 PM on June 22 [9 favorites]


sharing links

oooh, okay, this is pretty interesting and I don't think we had an Amy Cooper thread per se- NYT dives into Amy Cooper's life, and her life has details that are a bit messy and filled with drama (to put it kindly). If you're like "I don't have time to read all that", perhaps you would appreciate this fb post with screenshots of key messy/drama-filled moments from the article, as well as screenshots of tweets and reactions to the messiness/drama.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:02 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]




I missed my Mefi Decade Anniversary. It was May 24th this year 2020

60 Mefi Posts. 700+ comments
15 Metatalk posts, 200+ comments

At least 5 (?) Quonsars!

More than a decade of membership.

I no longer feel comfortable financially supporting the site, and reading mostly makes me feel sad.

In a different (non race orientated) thread someone said:

"This place is, now more than ever, a community rather than an answer production factory." .. and it doesn't feel like that to ME any more.

I'm only one Black woman, but it's becoming more and more stark that the White experience on Mefi as a whole is starkly different (and qualitatively better) than the Non-White experience, and I'm struggling to think of reasons to stay, and keep engaging with the site .. at all.

So as a non-American POC, specifically Black Woman, are there any good reasons to continue using Mefi as a whole?
posted by Faintdreams at 2:56 AM on June 23 [10 favorites]


For me - I keep participating because my words have an outsize impact here. Even though mefi isn't as big or active as it once was, I still hear from influential people that they read something I wrote here and it made a difference in how they acted and what they did and think. I have been far less active and far less interested in making that ongoing effort, but I have also been blessed with some really amazing friends from being here. I'm not quite willing to pack up and close that door forever. (and if anyone is interested in the MetaPOC slack where we goof off, love on each other and validate the hell out of one another, you can hit me up in MeMail.)
posted by stoneweaver at 5:13 AM on June 23 [7 favorites]


I haven't really been participating in here much not because of anything to do with Metafilter specifically, I've just been busy. But I do appreciate the Mefite-based spaces for other purposes that come up. I started up a Discord for Mefites who play Animal Crossing and it's been really nice! Good group, very helpful and supportive. That way I get some of the best bits of Mefi without needing to go through the droll.
posted by divabat at 8:26 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Alright, I stepped into the race MeTa and said something that might make people uncomfortable, I'm now going to close my computer and walk away and come back and see if it goes how I hope or fear.
posted by corb at 5:05 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Thanks everyone who favourited and replied.
For a while (perhaps a month or so ) I'm going to look at MeFi as a whole less, and avoid everything except the front page and occasionally Fanfare.

There is still a lot here I love, but a lot less than it used to be.
posted by Faintdreams at 10:25 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


The new mod travelingthyme wants to hear from us about their proposal for a community advisory board.
posted by TwoStride at 11:00 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


avoid everything except the front page and occasionally Fanfare.

Funnily enough I had to stop reading Fanfare because I kept seeing unchecked racism in threads about shows I watched (mostly reality competition shows). It's so much harder to flag things there and have it understood without having to launch into a whole explanation of like "They're talking about a POC here and saying this is racist because of XYZ" and it just wasn't worth it for me anymore.

I definitely have been reading MeFi a lot less than I used to (though more now since I posted this) - it's hard to give up something that was such a big part of my day to day life for so long, but I found myself a lot less frustrated and angry when I was going weeks without looking at it.
posted by primalux at 11:04 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]


I hate both versions of the Fanfare pages entirely and find the discussions either problematic or nearly nonexistent for the shows I'm interested in.
posted by TwoStride at 12:23 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


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