What exactly did closing issues help?

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RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture
What exactly did closing issues help?

Can't edit this...

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

So, a white dude wants to dominate the aboriginal forum.  NOT.

 

But, that's what's happened.  Dude's and Dudette's, CHILL.

 

We have friends here.  ANYBODY that dares to enter the Aboriginal threads and play settler will get a strong rebuke from me, if the mods can't do it.  Y'all were disgraceful lately and I'd suggest you apologize.  This is not the white folk forum, things get discussed and respected from a FN's POV. 

 

Ya, I'm just being dumb because you won't listen to the FN voices here and I'm just appropriating their voice.  Why am I doing this?

 

I apologize for voicing concerns.

 

Can anybody hear me?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

From here:  http://rabble.ca/babble/aboriginal-issues-and-culture/fn-accidently-runs...

 

Maysie, respectfully,

 

How did closing this topic help?  Shouldn't we have to learn?  Shouldn't we have to read? 

 

Perhaps the settler interlopers could have been asked to listen.  Perhaps, they could choose amongst themselves not to pile on FN persectives so as to build a critical mass of the voice that is needed.  Perhaps, we can start  anew. 

 

Requesting good faith from all.

j.m.

I won't do any (white)mansplaining but I think there was a trainwreck where the learning experience was going to destroy relations and chase away babblers. I guess, for me, nobody should have to pay for others' heavy learning curves (I still lament the thread with RTTG that went horribly some time ago) due to systemic bias.

Overrepresentation by whites, and by males, is a real problem in political forums. Over time people get relegated out of the conversation (their voices become privatized) and this is clearly an issue here.

The only problem I see with my view is that E. Tamaran made a call to let the non-supporting settler voices rant. He clearly didn't mind in this case, so maybe it should have continued.

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Hey RevolutionPlease and j.m.

I closed the thread in question because I stated a clear directive for it to move in a certain mandated direction, and was mostly ignored.

Rather than say it 5 more times (I really really mean it this time!) accompanied by a cute but emphatic foot-stomp, I decided to close it.

And while I appreciate some of E.Tamaran's posts and contributions to babble (the way I appreciate most babblers' contributions), he is not a moderator.

As a point of interest, when I started as a babbler in 2005 I tried for a while to fight the overrepresentation issue, which was clear to me upon a very cursory glance of the thread topics, as well as the directions most threads went in. For the most part I feel like I lost, given that the anti-racism forum has tumbleweeds blowing through it most of the time. But I'm still here.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Moving to rabble reactions.

remind remind's picture

Well, I was thinking about this last evening before I fell asleep, of all things, but I came to the realization that they got what they wanted.

The thread was shut down, so there was positive re-enforcement for their negative actions. As what else can one realize after they continued on, other than a purposeful intent to get it closed, after maysie warned she would close it and all.

Pants-of-dog

I am not confused as to why it was closed.

 

I reread Maysie's post here, and it seemed to me that the problem that Maysie (and remind) had was people discussing whether or not it was a perfect case and if it showed systemic racism. I unfortunately crossposted, and after reading Maysie's post, dropped that line of debate. Others didn't.

 

At least, that is how I see it.

remind remind's picture

If the mods go around closing threads because people do not stop being oppresive in the feminism, anti-racist forum or the aboriginal forum, then that will be all the incentive people will need to shut down  marginalized voices. They are afterall making a decision to be oppressive in said forums, so one must realize they are doing it on purpose, especially if they continue on after being told not to.

writer writer's picture

At a certain point (and sooner rather than later) I suspect people who did this as a habit would receive warnings and/or suspensions and/or banning. This *is* the board's policy and mandate we're talking about. Those who don't respect it ...

... Oh no, those are not tightly crossed fingers you are seeing through your screens. Oh, no!

Maysie Maysie's picture

remind wrote:
If the mods go around closing threads because people do not stop being oppresive in the feminism, anti-racist forum or the aboriginal forum, then that will be all the incentive people will need to shut down  marginalized voices.

Just to clarify, that's not what happened. Folks were warned first. And this will not happen all the time. It happened this time.

remind remind's picture

am not sure just what it is you clarified?

Folks were warned if they did not stop with the oppressive language and actions the thread would be closed, they didn't, it was.

milo204

as someone who posted in the debate we're talking about, the problem to me was that the subject of the thread was to talk about how a particular case was an example of systemic racism in the justice system.  there were disagreements over whether or not this specific case (a tragic car related accident with two deaths, several injuries) was indeed an example of racism, or if the person didn't go to jail because it was a tragic accident.

i think the non FN posters made great pains to say they did not disagree the police/courts system is indeed racist towards Fn's, except in this specific case it didn't appear racism was a motivating factor in the sentencing, which was the claim made by the person who initiated the thread.

i didn't see the debate as being oppressive, just people having a discussion.  i don't think anyone was defending systemic racism or saying it didn't exist or even that it couldn't exist in the case we were talking about, just that it didn't appear judging by what we knew about the case to be a factor in the sentencing.  

my problem is that if that was the subject put forth for discussion in the forum, how can people then be chewed out and accused of being oppressive if they try and discuss the topic raised?  i'm not sure how the thread could have gone in any other direction, and i think the specifics of the case were such that it was not a clear cut situation of racism so there was room to have a logical, rational debate which did not happen.

 

writer writer's picture

This simply stinks of privilege, and you don't seem to have any notion of it. Perhaps you should do A LOT of reading up on what it means before contributing to any of the forums created for very specific marginalized voices, and not your own.

Pants-of-dog

The way I see it, the sentence that Mr. Pratt received was much higher than Lucy M's sentence for many reasons, including systemic racism. There were many other factors as well. In this regard, those of us who claimed that it was not a good example should have been more clear.

My main trouble with the Pratt case is that there are so many other different factors. If I were discussing this case with anyone who was not aware of the systemic racism that FN people suffer at the hands of the justice system, I would have a hard time convincing that person that race was actually an important factor.

Because Maysie and the others are right when they say that it is harder to see racism (systemic or otherwise) when you look at it from a position of privilege. It is harder to see how racism plays out in sentencing in terms of the driver's skin colour and the skin colour of those who were hit. It is harder to see how racism plays out in terms of the lack of resources and opportunities that made it easier for Mr. Pratt to engage in crime than his education, as well as that same lack making it harder for him to engage the same legal team that Mr. Bryant was capable of hiring.

So, if it is hard for even those who are aware of the systemic racism to see these things, imagine how difficult it is for my hypothetical conversational partner.

remind remind's picture

Agreed

writer writer's picture

Thank you, Pants-of-dog.

milo204

actually the subject of the thread and case i was referring to was that of lucy muthoka, not the pratt case which i agree the sentence was probably harsher due to his being FN.

WRITER:

this is what i mean.  instead of having a rational debate where we respond to what the other is writing, you're just blasting me without addressing any of the points i've raised, and accusing me of being ignorant to privilege for disagreeing with someone on the specifics of a case that is not so simple, even from a FN positive point of view. 

like i said before, i wholeheartedly agree that no one should come into a thread under the FN banner and start denying that systemic racism exists or any other equally absurd claims, but that is not going on here.

Instead of derailing the conversation with claims of privilege, oppressive language, dominating the thread, demands people leave the thread etc. why not just address the points in such a way as to demonstrate that what you're claiming is in fact correct?  then you can make your point as well as make the people who have privilege think about their own possible biases?  

Again, this was a specific case where the sentence was not clearly racist as it was a tragic accident in which i wouldn't generally expect a prison term for the driver.  to equate that with denying entirely that systemic racism exists in terms of sentencing is totally unfair, and to say that for trying to have a conversation about it amounts to being disrespectful/oppressive in the FN forum is unfair.  Where else to better have that conversation?

 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

What I don't get is why so many people were so invested in disproving the perception that the sentance given was rather light and that systemic racism against Aboriginal people might have been at play. As I mentioned in the previous thread, it seemed pretty damn light to me and I felt as shocked and dismayed as most Members of Cross Lake.

Killing two people and seriously injuring a third strikes me as accidental manslaughter and wreckless driving with greivioius consequences. Even in a property value obsessed culture, the sentance was light given the damage the driver did by taking out a fire hydrant and flooding the street, as well as damaging a number of parked cars.

I was waiting to hear that the woman had a faulty car or a medical condition to explain how the accident happened. I was waiting to hear some justification for such a light sentance given the loss of two lives. All I gathered was that her church community rallied to make a case for forgiveness. I am not a victims' right obsessed advocate or a stiffer sentancing fan, but I really felt that this sentance was a slap in the face to the Cross Lake First Nation.

wage zombie

milo204 wrote:

as someone who posted in the debate we're talking about, the problem to me was that the subject of the thread was to talk about how a particular case was an example of systemic racism in the justice system.  there were disagreements over whether or not this specific case (a tragic car related accident with two deaths, several injuries) was indeed an example of racism, or if the person didn't go to jail because it was a tragic accident.

If you understand what systemic racism is, you understand that racism is a factor in EVERY case.  When you say, "yeah, i understand that there's systemic racism, i just don't think this case is an example of it," then it's not clear to anyone that you actually DO understand.  Because if you did understand, you'd be shutting up.

Do you think the court was simply NOT aware that the victims were FN?  They didn't notice?

Quote:

i think the non FN posters made great pains to say they did not disagree the police/courts system is indeed racist towards Fn's, except in this specific case it didn't appear racism was a motivating factor in the sentencing, which was the claim made by the person who initiated the thread.

How can you think racism is not a factor in the sentencing when you understand that systemic racism means that it doesn't go away?  You keep stating this over and over, making it clear to people that YOU JUST DON'T GET IT.  You're telling us, "Hey, I don't have a clue what I'm talking about, but you need to just calm down and listen to me so I can tell you how it is."  And people are telling you that you need to listen/read more and talk/write less, about this issue.

Quote:

i didn't see the debate as being oppressive, just people having a discussion.  i don't think anyone was defending systemic racism or saying it didn't exist or even that it couldn't exist in the case we were talking about, just that it didn't appear judging by what we knew about the case to be a factor in the sentencing.  

If racism wasn't a factor in the sentencing, then where does systemic racism come into play?  Are you getting this yet?

Quote:

my problem is that if that was the subject put forth for discussion in the forum, how can people then be chewed out and accused of being oppressive if they try and discuss the topic raised?  i'm not sure how the thread could have gone in any other direction, and i think the specifics of the case were such that it was not a clear cut situation of racism so there was room to have a logical, rational debate which did not happen.

The thread can not go in another direction until you listen to what people are trying to communicate to you.

Here's how the thread can go in another direction:

You calm down.  Don't get defensive.  Forget about trying to communicate to us that you know what we're saying.  You don't.  That's ok.  This is not about you being a bad person.  We just want you to realize that what you're saying is hurtful.  You can keep saying it, but it's going to keep being hurtful.

When someone tells you that what you're saying is hurtful, the best thing to do is just to stop.  Stop and think about it.  Unless your goal is to be hurtful.  Don't try to explain, don't try to justify, just stop.  Don't come back later and say that you thought about it but you don't think it was hurtful.  Just stop.

Realize that there's something that you're just not getting.

Nobody wants to chew you out or accuse you of being oppressive--they just want to communicate to you when what you're saying is hurtful for someone.  Because, you wanna know, and not keep hurting people, right?  Because, then you'll understand better, and we'll all be able to have discussions more smoothly.

So don't take it personally, and don't be afraid to admit that you've got more to learn. :)

milo204

"shut up, you don't get it": yeah, i get it.  ask questions you don't like or disagree with you and i'm being an asshole and i'm hurting people.  Have i insulted anyone? have i told anyone here that "you just don't get it!" or made assumptions they don't "have a clue" just because they ask a question?

i live in winnipeg where the accident happened and there have been a number of incidents like this with no charges or jail time.  some involving impaired drivers, stolen cars, falling asleep on the highway killing two people, drunk off duty cops (obviously no charges laid there), etc. 

with that in mind, the idea that she would have FOR SURE gone to jail if the victims hadn't been from cross lake didn't seem so plainly obvious to me.   and if the answer is so obvious that you can't believe anyone on a progressive board would pose it: instead of saying "you don't know what you're talking about" or that we should butt out and "listen/read"more somewhere else, why not just say "actually there is racism at play here, and this is how" which would have been easy, clear and effective.  the reasons you gave, "it's a factor in every case", (which for the most part i agree with) are too unspecific to be applied to this case.  

And if folks in the forum had kept it friendlier, one of the last posts before the thread was closed was a study that was done about discrepancies in sentencing in car related deaths due to gender and race.  so we were almost getting somewhere.  

just understand i'm not coming from a place of hostility and i openly concede i always have plenty more to learn.  but how can i do that when if i ask one "wrong " question the response is "go read a book or something, you don't have a clue what you're talking about"   

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

laine lowe wrote:

What I don't get is why so many people were so invested in disproving the perception that the sentance given was rather light and that systemic racism against Aboriginal people might have been at play. As I mentioned in the previous thread, it seemed pretty damn light to me and I felt as shocked and dismayed as most Members of Cross Lake.

One hopes that its just because people have too much time on their hands. What people don't seem to understand is that systemic racism is so hard to pin down that in any given case their will be "arguments" that can be made to cast doubt upon the assertion that it is in play. Indeed, in these case the crown argues a plausible case. If it were not plausible, there would be no case. So, in fact, the way to determine systemic racism, is actually not through individual cases, but by looking at the broaders statistics.

These statistics indicate that the effect of systemic racism is a likely to be present in any given court case involving FN's people. How else can we explain the statistics for incarceration of FN's people? Systemic racism is everywhere, because the society is racist, at it root. How this appears in real life is often hard to determine, but it exists to a greater or lesser extent in any given event that happens in our society involving FN people,

al-Qa'bong

A "Books" thread was just closed.  Closed, mind you, not burned.

It's unlikely that I would ever read a book written by Christie Blatchford, but I wouldn't have minded reading a discussion about its contents, repulsive as they may be.

I don't know about everyone else, but I really dislike such censorship on babble.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

al-Qa'bong wrote:

A "Books" thread was just closed.  Closed, mind you, not burned.

It's unlikely that I would ever read a book written by Christie Blatchford, but I wouldn't have minded reading a discussion about its contents, repulsive as they may be.

I don't know about everyone else, but I really dislike such censorship on babble.

 I wrote some comments about it but it was closed when I posted.  I know the OP was trolling but regardless this book and the POV of what occured in Caledonia will likely get some press and be spun in that direction.  

 Since I didn't get the chance to comment on that thread I'll post it here because I think it's a very important point of how people from some quarters are approaching and spinning it for public consumption. 

 I watched the first part of the interview and caught it right away.  Blatchford stated quite blatantly that she didn't and still doesn't know much about the land claim and that's okay because that part doesn't matter to her book and the points she makes in her book.   How someone can write a book, any book for that matter without knowing or understanding one of the main factors if not the key factor that informed ALL of the events and peoples actions, on all levels, is just wrong.    Regardless of ones POV it's like trying to do a puzzle with half the pieces and no big picture to go by.   She states that the Canadian gov't doesn't recognize the claim as legitimate and that somehow speaks to it's relevance. Good enough for her.    Well no duh Christie, that lack of recognition was the point and the main factor that started it all and informed everything that subsequently happened.    

 This is the spin, dismiss it's relevance as some minor player.  Whether done out of sheer ignorance or on purpose it's just wrong and very annoying.   However I've seen it work on people ever since the issue first started.  

 

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

This isn't the first thread on a book that was closed precipitiously.  I recall Sven wanted to discuss Ayan Hirsi Ali's "Nomad" - the book was proclaimed non-progressive and the thread closed.

Maysie Maysie's picture

It's great to know that "Dump on Maysie Day" is being celebrated early this year.

I've re-opened the thread. You just had to ask nicely you know.

Unionist

That's not good enough, Maysie. I want to see a written apology and self-criticism, posted on a billboard somewhere, and a dunce cap. Please be true to our [url=http://drdawgsblawg.blogspot.com/2010/03/leftovers.html]Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution[/url] reputation!!

Err, the above was intended as irony.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

babble has a problem, has always had a problem, of attracting and keeping posters of colour. Indeed, the Canadian liberal left shares this affliction. While it's nice for some of us to flex our intellectual muscles critiquing Blatchford's "Who will think of the suburbanites?" cri de coeur, the fact that such a discussion is happening is a significant barrier to creating and maintaining a space where FN posters (in this case) can feel comfortable talking about fundamental issues--where the starting point isn't: "Well, sure we took your land, but do you have to be so gosh darned impolite about it?" but: "We took your land and we need to make reparations for a few centuries of genocide and cultural eradication."

This is not an easy question to resolve. And it's made more difficult when certain babblers are determined to challenge every attempt to fix this endemic problem. Maysie and I don't know the solution--although Maysie has been working on it for a couple decades--but it would be nice if other babblers engaged in this community failing in good faith, and with a determination to fix it, rather than to stymie, question, niggle and attack any humble attempt to do so.

So when you disagree with a thread closure, it would be nice if we took the above as the operating ideology, rather than framing it in terms of "book burning" and "censorship." Such an approach is not only unfair and untrue, but harmful to the overall health and diversity-building project of the community.

Unionist

Amen, Catchfire. I don't envy your and Maysie's dilemmas and balancing acts. But you can count on my support.

I had a crisis a couple months ago when I thought I wasn't being "allowed" to discuss a particular issue. I took some time off. Things looked better. I realized I was wrong.

If babble truly was afflicted by "censorship", in any sense that meant anything negative to progressive-minded people, we wouldn't be here.

We're here.

And we need to find ways to remove barriers to those that feel, rightfully or not, excluded.

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Unionist wrote:

[...] I realized I was wrong. [...]

Best band name tattoo EVER!Wink It should be mandatory upon signing up.

milo204

i think part of the problem is that on the internet, the tone  is hard to read, so someone saying "hey, i don't know if i agree with you because..." is interpreted as "HEY! YOU don't know what you're talking about, so let me tell you how it really is!..."

whereas if we were sitting in a room talking to each other we'd probably all get along just fine.  i know when i post, i'm thinking of how people will interpret it, not just what i want to say.  but since most of us here are not professional writers, i think it's hard to find a happy medium of being direct enough to say what we want to say without writing 20 paragraphs, and on the other hand writing in a way that is still respectful of others opinions even if we want to challenge them.

i think if we were to all refrain from attacking the person, and feeling personally attacked when other disagree and stick to attacking the issues people's minds and ideas can be changed for the better.  To me, and i know this has been said here many times, this would go along way to improving the debates here on babble, and especially to improving on the ability of sites like rabble to build community and become more diverse in the people who participate here. 

 

al-Qa'bong

Maysie wrote:

It's great to know that "Dump on Maysie Day" is being celebrated early this year.

I've re-opened the thread. You just had to ask nicely you know.

 

Oh fer cryin' out loud, why make this personal?  Allus I did was say I'd like threads to remain open for discussion.  Isn't that what this place is for?