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ablarc
December 12th, 2008, 02:15 PM
I have decided the best course of action is to lock this thread. [The Manifesto of Ascendancy...]
Best for whom?


Further discussion can continue elsewhere.
This is elsewhere.

Fabrizio
December 12th, 2008, 02:26 PM
Elsewhere... like:

www.cats.com

or

www.bitterwaitress.com

or

http://www.meet-an-inmate.com/

I'm sure there are so many more appropriate web sites out there that need moderators.

ZippyTheChimp
December 12th, 2008, 02:34 PM
I never got a chance to see the pre-edited post, so I would like for it to be posted.

An offensive remark isn't offensive if its offensiveness is being debated.

So, out with it.

dtolman
December 12th, 2008, 02:45 PM
Here is the original post. Naughty words ineffectively censored for the faint of heart. (highlight to read).

Excellent points were made, but in the end this guy is an apologist for these two people, trying to somehow elevate them beyond the fact that they are or were a part of one of the worst administrations with the absolute worst foreign policy decisions ever made. Powell went into the U.N. and presented lies. Condi is hardly an independent thinker.
He's not an apologist for their policies; that's just something you're imputing to him. Your baggage, not his.

He admires the fact that they made successes of themselves without playing the nigger game.

And he sees that as the sine qua non of genuine black liberation.

And he's absolutely right.

stache
December 12th, 2008, 02:59 PM
The edited word was not put into quotations, as Punzie had the decency to do. The current sentence has the same meaning as the old one.

ablarc
December 12th, 2008, 03:09 PM
The current sentence has the same meaning as the old one.
No, it doesn't. "Playing the game" is something different.

Fabrizio
December 12th, 2008, 03:12 PM
Listen: we are adult enough to know that the word, in the context of the thread, makes sense and causes no harm.

If however, even in this context, the word breaks a WiredNY policy then that should be explained: policy is policy.

The word could even then be substituted by the accepted term "n-word"... if need be. And I think the posters would understand.... perhaps not agree, but understand.

But IMHO: just going in and editing out words...and then playing a guessing game... Ritz Crackers and all... and then locking the thread etc. is a poor way of handling the issue.

And haven't we been over this stuff before?

Alonzo-ny
December 12th, 2008, 03:15 PM
The locking of that thread is absolutely PATHETIC. Someone didn't like being challenged so they locked the thread. Sad. Personal involvement should have no place in moderation.

Jasonik
December 12th, 2008, 03:38 PM
ablarc, is the 'game' referred to the same as what J.C. Watts (http://www.nndb.com/people/991/000049844/) meant by the phrase “race-hustling poverty pimp?” Meaning (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_n14_v91/ai_19153995):

"[Race-hustling poverty pimps] talk a lot about slavery, but they're perfectly happy to have just moved us to another plantation. What scares them the most is that Black people might break out of that racial-group thing and start thinking for themselves."


Is "race pimping" an acceptable substitute? Such as:

He admires the fact that they made successes of themselves without playing the [I]race pimping game.

ZippyTheChimp
December 12th, 2008, 04:05 PM
Given that The n-word was the title of a scholarly article, published in a widely read magazine, that was the basis for the thread title; I don't see what the big deal is.

I suppose if I had to make an edit, I would have used italics, but I must make it clear - I don't think it's a good idea to partially edit a post. I've never done it, except for format.

I have yelled at people for saying certain things, though.


I suppose the best way to judge the edit is to take it from the viewpoint of a first-time visitor. To do that, the tone of the entire thread should be evaluated. Nothing at all racist about it. But if you're upset by the word itself, you're going to be offended right from the go.

ablarc
December 12th, 2008, 04:21 PM
Is "race pimping" an acceptable substitute? Such as: He admires the fact that they made successes of themselves without playing the race pimping game.
OK, I guess, for those addicted to euphemism; but Ridley's choice of words is easier for most folks to understand in context.

Compare:


In a particularly ugly rant, Harry Belafonte infamously alluded to Powell as being a house nigger.

In a particularly ugly rant, Harry Belafonte infamously alluded to Powell as being a house race pimp.

A bit self-conscious, no? And not all that communicative.

Zippy has the last word:


...if you're upset by the word itself, you're going to be offended right from the go.

Jasonik
December 12th, 2008, 04:43 PM
Agreed. Though 'race-traitor' or 'uncle Tom' or even 'token' would suffice for your example -- though the demeaning pall of ownership is mostly absent with these terms.

I'm trying to deconstruct the need to use the word, not be an apologist for its abolition. I would have to agree with Ridley, in that it connotes a certain harm that is needed when discussing such a fraught topic as this country's tortured race relations.


I have no qualm about using the word nigger. It is a word. It is in the English lexicon, and no amount of political correctness, no amputation into "the n-word"—as if by the castration of a few letters we should then be able to conceptualize its meaning without feeling its sting—will remove it from reality.

ablarc
December 13th, 2008, 07:09 AM
^ "Race-traitor" comes with unwelcome baggage. What, for example, is its opposite? Race-patriot?

Jasonik
December 13th, 2008, 12:45 PM
The opposite of "race-traitor" is "race-pimp," not linguistic opposites, but concepts in opposition to one another.

Keep in mind these are terms created by black America to describe themselves. The former being used by collectivists deeply wedded to identity politics, whereas the latter is a critique of this collectivism, and the powerlessness of the individual it implies.

During the civil rights era collectivism made sense, since all blacks were under attack, naturally they shared a common cause. Ironically the individual power afforded to blacks with civil rights has directly led to the weakening of the collectivist bonds allowing for such accusations as becoming a "sellout" "acting white" or *gasp* "assimilation" into the larger American experience.

The way in which Ridley uses the epithet "nigger" as a rebuke for choosing to remain dependent and individually powerless is the answer to accusations of personal success as a betrayal of blackness and its 'implicit' unifying victimology.

*****

BTW, when will the original thread be reopened with this one tacked on the end?

ablarc
December 13th, 2008, 06:39 PM
^ Edward?

lofter1
December 13th, 2008, 08:24 PM
Ok, now I'm really confused.

Was the edited word (A) Cracker? or (B) Nigger?

Fabrizio
December 13th, 2008, 08:37 PM
Lofter dear, the "N-word" is not a euphemism for Nabisco

stache
December 13th, 2008, 09:14 PM
The answer is "B".

lofter1
December 13th, 2008, 11:13 PM
Edited out of a post but left visible in the title of the thread?

Makes less sense than ever.

To try and make a word disappear only gives it more power.

ablarc
December 14th, 2008, 12:56 AM
Silly.

We’ve been herded into silliness by obsessions of the word police.

And poor old Jasonik keeps trying to have a serious discussion of Ridley’s serious article.

But we can’t; we’re hung up on words.

Feelgood virtue: in the process of applying it, we illustrate Ridley’s point: you victimize folks by treating them like victims (but of course, what do you expect!). The affirmative action article makes a similar point.

I recommend the word police actually take the trouble to read Ridley’s essay.

Plenty to be learned.

It's edifying, not silly.

Jasonik
December 14th, 2008, 01:34 AM
Thanks for noticing. Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

Merry
December 14th, 2008, 02:09 AM
Thanks for noticing. Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

Please don't ever stop bothering, Jasonik.

stache
December 14th, 2008, 05:13 AM
Because of the amount of time the thread languished in obscurity on this board, my initial decision was to leave the thread. Then I noticed ablarc's casual use of the word in question, a word I have a feeling gets a lot of use in his household. He used this word without quotation marks, and it was not a direct quote from the original post. I think we have to be very careful about the context of hate language, and how it's used.
It is unfortunate that this thread was revived. It bothers me every time I see it listed in bold type under 'new posts'. So my decision was to lock the original thread, and move the discussion to a new thread.

Alonzo-ny
December 14th, 2008, 05:45 AM
The only reason you locked the thread was because people wanted to know what had been edited, something that should have merited a PM and a get back on topic post. It is an important topic for discussion whether you like it or not. Your actions are quite unacceptable. Its been easy to ignore you until now but your personal opinion, which has no place here as a moderator, is stifling the forum.

Kris
December 14th, 2008, 06:47 AM
^ Edward?
He's been absent for twelve days. We're going to have to wait, although the solution to this problem is obvious: reopen the thread and let you restore your post.

Fabrizio
December 14th, 2008, 06:48 AM
Then I noticed ablarc's casual use of the word in question,

His use of the word was not casual. It was, in fact, a well thought intellectual choice and perfectly in line with Ridley's article.



a word I have a feeling gets a lot of use in his household.

Uncalled for. Just very dirty, Stache.


I think we have to be very careful about the context of hate language, and how it's used.

We all agree with that. You have no moral high-ground here.

Merry
December 14th, 2008, 07:24 AM
Then I noticed ablarc's casual use of the word in question, a word I have a feeling gets a lot of use in his household.

I'm stunned. I can't believe you said that, stache. Way, way off the mark in every way.

stache
December 14th, 2008, 07:44 AM
It's open season around here. We might as well start talking about Kikes, Spics, fags and Chinks while we're at it.

ZippyTheChimp
December 14th, 2008, 08:52 AM
It's open season when we cross the line from analyzing what people post to speculating on what they think or who they are outside the forum.

That was a stupid remark___you're an idiot.
That was a racist remark___you're a racist.

Saying that kike Bloomberg is clearly a racist remark, but the use of the word kike in a discussion about racism isn't racism.

http://kpearson.faculty.tcnj.edu/Dictionary/kike.htm

Jasonik
December 14th, 2008, 11:48 AM
For the record; Stache's behavior and outrageous accusation against ablarc merits banning and no less than stripping of moderatorship. Anyone who agrees is urged to contact (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/member.php?u=2663#) Edward by PM.

Until now I've declined becoming a moderator. If swift action against Stache might be facilitated by my willingness to accept the responsibility, I'll gladly do it for the good of the forum.

Alonzo-ny
December 14th, 2008, 12:11 PM
Its no great surprise that I agree with all that Jasonik has said. PM sent.

lofter1
December 14th, 2008, 02:06 PM
What happened to simply admitting an error in judgment?

The remark about ablarc's home was way out of line.

Stache: I respect you but on this particualr subject you've made a mistake.

If someone in close quarters tosses an epithet my way then I tend to challenge the person and confront it. When asked what they mean the response is often "Nothing" -- which is often far from the truth. I can tell when a word is being used to belittle me -- or if the very same word is just a word with no hate or ill will behind it. Getting another to see the difference is important.

stache
December 14th, 2008, 07:19 PM
I'm leaving this up to Edward.

Edward
December 18th, 2008, 06:44 PM
I was on vacation and read these two threads this afternoon.

Esquire is a respectable magazine and the use of world "nigger" in the title of the article was clearly not casual, an intentional step on the part of the author discussing race relations. ablarc's follow-up post should be regarded in the context of the article, and his expression references the title of the article (and the thread). Correspondingly, I have restored the original post.

As to how the whole issue was handled, I will have to respond later.

NoyokA
December 18th, 2008, 11:08 PM
Racism is all about context. Racism in general is not accepted on this forum, one of the best things about the NY demographic, I remember a member who posted an antisemitic comment, people were upset that I only deleted the thread and banned him for a week. I think the best course of action for moderators if they have a question over whether something is appropriate or not is to allow due course (reported posts, and follow up replies) and then act accordingly.

But lets hold-up on the mob mentality for a second, while I don't agree with stache's judgement here, he is only human, issues such as race are touchy ones and because of that he acted hastily and made a judgment era. As moderators we are not paid, our interest is solely that of the forums best interest. There are available outlets to complain and the issue has been resolved, there is no point in dragging-it-out.

BrooklynRider
December 19th, 2008, 10:25 PM
I think the offensiveness of the word would be in the intent of the author. In this case, the word was not used with anger, derisiveness or derision toward anyone in the forum or even toward the subject of the article. I personally find use of the term "n-word" as rather childish as it immediately conjures up the word "nigger" in and of itself.

No one on this forum would let the use of that word or other words go unchallenged. I do feel that we have to be resistent to censoring the forum out of a sense of protecting the members from ideas or words that we feel might be inciteful. We can't letour own sensibilities affect the presentation of ideas.

I think the forum was somewhat more engaging and entertaining when we left each person to draw their intellectual swords and battle it out. Many of us found our friends and allies here in such circumstances and it did build a more representartive online community that correlated to the real word.

I'm against an echo chamber and, in the current state of the world, anger and frustration is justfiably expressed in adjectives that might previously have been considered over-the-top. I think that, beyond the universally unwelcome spam, we as moderators might want to consider responding to reports of offensive posts as opposed to making assumptions on the "community standards" here.

I kind of miss the hard fought battles on here. Some of those battles went from intense and intellectual and veered directly into the ridiculous. In the end, we all learned to laugh at and with one another.

I support Stache's desire to maintain high posting standards and courtesy in the WNY community, but I think we might all benefit from more curiousity about what a poster means or where a thread may be headed as opposed to certainty.

- END THOUGHT HERE - :)

Merry
December 20th, 2008, 03:24 AM
I support Stache's desire to maintain high posting standards and courtesy in the WNY community...

It's a shame that courtesy was not present in the personal remark made against another member. And from a moderator.

The action taken to edit/lock the thread was possibly an error in judgement. The remark was offensive.


It's open season around here. We might as well start talking about Kikes, Spics, fags and Chinks while we're at it.

And so was that.


But lets hold-up on the mob mentality for a second, while I don't agree with stache's judgement here, he is only human, issues such as race are touchy ones and because of that he acted hastily and made a judgment era. As moderators we are not paid, our interest is solely that of the forums best interest. There are available outlets to complain and the issue has been resolved, there is no point in dragging-it-out.

What mob mentality?

I hope the resolution included a private apology, at the very least, if not a public one.

Fabrizio
December 20th, 2008, 02:23 PM
Stern: Oh c'mon... suddenly legit concerns by individual posters who happen to be in agreement are "mob mentality"?

NoyokA
December 20th, 2008, 02:30 PM
The issues been resolved, I don’t see what good in persecuting stache further via contacting Edward and asking for his removal will do. He's done alot of good for this forum.

Fabrizio
December 20th, 2008, 02:42 PM
Stern: please.

The posters who decided to send e-mails did so before the issue was resolved. So there was no "persecution" of anyone.

Jasonik
December 20th, 2008, 03:07 PM
In fairness Fabrizio, Stern may be referring to my attempt (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=265282&postcount=30) to instigate a mob to persecute Stache.

I haven't received any direct contact admonishing me for this from any moderator or forum member. I remain unapologetic for my actions since it is proper for Edward to hear about inappropriate moderator behavior.

That said, I'm certain the issue has been resolved if Stern says it has been.

NoyokA
December 20th, 2008, 03:14 PM
Original post restored + Thread Reopened = Resolved

Fabrizio
December 20th, 2008, 03:17 PM
emails sent before original post restored + thread reopened = the proper way of doing things.

NoyokA
December 20th, 2008, 03:31 PM
One of the great joys of my life is constantly replying and defending myself against your incessant nitpicking.

Calling for someone to be removed as moderator and banned because of one indiscretion = mob mentality

Fabrizio
December 20th, 2008, 03:38 PM
Stern: Again. Quit insulting forum members. You are the one basically rewriting the way things happened here. Not good.

And please note: it was not one indescretion... shall we go back over the others?

Jasonik
December 20th, 2008, 03:41 PM
Am I being accused of something improper?

NoyokA
December 20th, 2008, 03:49 PM
No, you're allowed to do whatever you want. Do I think its right, no. But again you're allowed to do whatever you like.

Alonzo-ny
December 20th, 2008, 06:29 PM
I dont see mob mentality I just saw a few veterans unhappy and reasonably so. It may be resolved with the post and thread but what stache did would have warranted infractions for a normal member and the moderation was made personal something that shouldnt be allowed.

BrooklynRider
December 20th, 2008, 08:51 PM
Merry, point taken. I do recognize what you are pointing out and I do agree.

---------------------------------------------------------

Having argued different points from purely the perspective a forum member in the past, I have to agree with the importance and validity of taking the concerns of Veteran Forum members seriously. They drive the community, the discussions, and the tone in the forums. I also think that great consideration has to be made to the fact they are reading and posting in the Forum Issues section. From a historical perspective, it seems worth noting that the number of Forum Members in general, and Forum Veterans in particular, who are engaged in this discussion is lower than it has been on past issues related to moderation.

Speaking as a Forum Member, I think WNY has to remain an attractive place to post, discuss and debate issues. I was and remain strongly against censorship of ideas.

If everyone had to give their top three issues negatively impacting the Forum right now, what would they be?

eddhead
December 22nd, 2008, 02:01 PM
First, I Understand how much time and effort must goes into moderating and managing this forum and appreciate the effort. Clearly, the administrators of this forum care deeply about the content and character of this space and diligently manage to ensure that from an editorial perspective best practices are followed.

What makes this forum so special is the passion, knowledge-base, and intelligence of its members. We are not short on opinions around here, and that is a good thing. In addition, this forum is comprised of the most articulate group of members I have been a part of. When you combine the members' passion and strong opinions with their written (and dare I say) propensity for sarcastic humor, your create the potential for high conflict. That puts an awful lot of pressure on the moderators who I would guess are constantly placed in the position of determining the appropriateness of posts. Still, despite being the occasional target of said sarcastic commentary, I would not change any of that for the world.

I do not know that I can come up with 3 suggestions for improvement, but based on some observations, I do submit the following guild lines most of which are already embedded in the forum rule sructure:

- IMO the most fundamental and important forum rule is to depersonalize the commentary. It is OK to attack a post, but it is not OK to attack the poster. Adding the words "you" or "you are" to a response challenges the individual rather than the individual's ideas or their commentary. I believe this is a forum of well-thought out ideas. Counter opinions provoke thought and thoughtful responses. Personal attacks create animosity and ill-will.

- Words are only words. Individuals should not be banned or otherwise punished for posts that contain offensive language unless the offensive word(s) are gratuitous. Having said as much, members should try to be as sensitive as possible when using provocative words, especially when the connote strong racial images.
Referring to the most recent case, the use of " " may have been appropriate and may deflected much of the sensitivity around the use of the n-word. Still, while I can certainly understand the sensitivity I do not believe a failure to use quotes should have resulted in deleting the post and locking down the thread.

- I think the forum would be well-served if moderators took the less is better approach to moderating, especially considering the quality of the majority of the posts. Clearly a lot of thought goes into much of what is written here and with that thought and effort comes a sense of pride and ownership By and large, I believe this rule is followed, but please remember that with that effort and sense of ownership, comes strong disappointment when a post is a post is edited or deleted. At the very least, communication with the poster via pm is critical when a post is edited or deleted.

I think before the moderators ban or admonish a member, they should remember that the strong ideas and passion distinguish this forum from others. Ask yourself what this place would be like with less articulate, less thoughtful, and frankly, less smart members and what kind of behavior you wish to incentivize.

I realize it may appear that I am being a bit critical of the moderators... I really am not. I really do think this is a great place and that the moderators do a hell of a job. This has got to be a tough group to manage. But it is almost like being in a family... I am not sure you are ever going to eliminate the tension that comes with the conflicting ideas of smart people. Maybe what most of us need is patience, a cool head, and objectivity.

-

Ninjahedge
December 24th, 2008, 10:42 AM
Are we all finished now?

Do I ned to take you all out to your time-out chairs!!! ;)


Anyway, the subject was, as we have seen, a very sensitive one. Even bringing up the word "nigger" in any conversation will get you instant reaction depending on who you are and what you are perceived to be no matter how you use it. People have hot-buttons that can be trggered pretty easily, and that has been shown more thana few times in the past over isues of race, religion and sexual orientation.

What one considers to be innocuous or part of an intellectual discussion can be seen as a direct affront by another even if it was not meant to be.

I think that the issue has been resolved acceptably. I do think that Stache took things too personally and overreacted, but I will not bear him ill will for his pain, as it is obvious that something else has caused it that is probably more that what any of us know here.

Does that validate his overreaction? No. He was told by many that he stepped over the line and I hope he realizes it. He should keep this in mind and also, as I think I have said earlier, try to refrain from moderating ANYTHING he has a personal interest or emotional stake in. Other mods on other sites have done the same (especially during the election) and it is a good rule to follow. When you get pissed about something personally, you can no longer be an impartial judge and should let someone else decide on what should be done.

Is that easy? No. But it is something we all should learn to live with, both here on a mostly anonymous BBS, and in life.

Were I to follow my own advice in life, I think it would be much easier.

I gotta learn to listen to myself sometimes! ;)