What do you suggest in the place of cultural awareness threads?

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posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 12:10 AM
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I really don't like to post to the BB &Q forum anymore, but I wanted to ask this question so that there is further insight in this matter concerning the racism and prejudice threads.

1)I would like to know what the staff plans to have in its place when it concerns "race" on this board.

2)What if a topic outside of the Social Issues forum has to do with race? Will you close down this thread as well?

3)And, why has the staff chosen to penalize the "good" threads for the sake of the bad ones? For myself especially, I have not created my threads as rants. I treat my threads as social phenomenon in society. For my part, I have posted sources and provided commentary.

4)And how is the board going to deal with race on the board? Obviously not all the members are of the same race. So, if one were to post remarks saying disparaging things about another race, how will the staff deal with this?

5)And what steps will the staff and Administration take in order to help increase tolerance on the board?

6)Are you going to close down the Middle East Issues and the Politics of War threads? Those two forums also have to do with race, culture and society as much as the race threads do. They are also as emotional and sensitive as well.

7)What topic on the Social Issues forum is next? Women's issues? Abortion? Rape? Gay Marriage? These are also issues that have a lot of emotion and sensitivity tied to them.

8)If we happen to mention race in another topic, will our posts be censored?

9)There are a lot of conspiracies tied to race as well. Are you going to close down these threads?

Yes, we're dealing with a "slippery slope" here. I am grateful to the Staff and the Administration for permitting us to speak freely on a plethora of topics, but I tend to think that in the guise of "Denying Ignorance", closing down the threads on race only sets up a dangerous precedent that could spread to other topics.

Lastly, I had proposed we have a forum on culture and it was shot down. I am not bringing this notion back here, but now I hope that people can see why we need a separate forum on cultural issues apart from the Social Issues forum. I know that people will balk at this, but I just wanted to say my peace. And I feel that by closing down the race threads (unless there is not any action taken by staff to increase tolerance on the board) will only produce the same effect elsewhere.

Thank you for letting me have my say. I hope we can discuss this civily. And please for the sake of members airing out their feelings on this subject, don't close this thread.

Otherwise, I will step aside and let others speak from now on concerning this issue.

I will not answer or address any disparaging remarks made against me, my posts and my character for the sake of civility.


[edit on 2-4-2007 by ceci2006]




posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 12:33 AM
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Have I missed something? Did the recent threads we've been participating in, get closed? I'm confused.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 12:35 AM
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Chissler posted a thread about preserving the beloved "Social Issues" forum. The Staff is closing all the race-relation threads down because they feel that they are little more than the same thing. He explains it in his thread why.

It is here.

It is effective immediately.

[edit on 2-4-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 12:47 AM
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Race Against Time

I realize the recent closures can be frustrating, but they have come as something of a last resort.

Basically, they are burning out our poor bedraggled moderators.


I hope it's clear that I very much want AbovePolitics.com to be a place where members can discuss all the tough issues, including race and racism.

However, something's not working here, and after several staff members made it clear there's a problem that needs solving, we closed several threads in Social Issues.

It's not terribly surprising that racism would lead to fiery exchanges, but I think we've gone past "fiery" and into "flaming", and it's not doing anybody any good.


A Different Track

We've already tried several things, but they aren't working, and there is a strong sense among the staff that these threads are leading us in a direction we don't want to go.

It's possible to discuss racism in a candid, civil and -- yes -- passionate manner, but right now things are looking way too much like the Secret Societies forum used to look like, and that needs to change.

It's completely reasonable to protest the action we've taken, and I think the questions this thread raises are well-considered and valid.

So if you can help us find some good answers for them, I'd be most grateful.

As I told the mods: I'm open to ideas.


Well, except for one: maintaining the status quo.

That's not an option. :shk:

In the meantime, let's take a breather and devote some thought to how to bring the discussion up a few notches.

Again: I'm open to ideas.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 12:48 AM
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Well that suxors.

I think threads can be initiated discussing race and it's issues, just the few recent ones have been deemed out of control.

I think chissler's post is saying that we just need to chill for a bit, and try to be more objective in further threads.

I'm all for a 'race rant' thread in RATS or something, as I don't mind 'hard talk'. IMO sometimes the best information is contained within it.

:edit:

Is it possible to have a 'grown up' forum or sub-forum or something, where only adults can post and view?

[edit on 2-4-2007 by nextguyinline]



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 12:58 AM
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I tend to think that the topics aren't the problem. If people devote themselves to quality talk by staying on topic and not deviating into other issues, that would help a lot.

Furthermore, people have to treat issues about race seriously. I know for myself (despite my detractors), I have tried to take the topic seriously through analysis and sources. I furthermore discourage putting the "personality" aspect into it. If people "de-emotionalize" the issue, then it could be treated more like a study instead of a rant.

I know that treating an issue like a research question sounds rather harsh and impersonal, but I find that it allows the poster to take a bit of distance, read the remarks of the others and then respond thoughtfully instead of a flurry of the same repetitive aspects from thread to thread.

The problem with the "race threads" is that people don't treat it as an intellectual topic. Instead, they use it as an emotional one. And there isn't any insight to note that there are entire disciplines that treat this issue with respect and candor that it deserves.

By "de-emotionalization", people can put a lot of thought into what they say instead of repeating lines from the same old script. I wonder when people repeat the same lines from "the script", do they ever think about what they say?

For example:

Poster one: "There are social disparities in society based on race. Here are my sources proving this."

Poster two: "Why don't you people learn to have some responsibility! You are only encouraging division!"

Poster three: "I don't see a color. I don't know why you are fanning the flames of hate."

Poster one: "The social disparities about race has to do with institutional racism. Dr. Cornel West discusses these matters in the book, Race matters. Furthermore, in Democracy matters, he continues to extend the aspect of disparities by talking about the authorian slant our country has taken--especially when it has to do with people of color."

Poster four: "Since you hate America so much, why don't you and your people go back to Africa!"

And so on.

Posters 2, 3, and 4 vent their emotionalism to a topic while Poster 1 is trying to engage the subject matter thoughtfully. So, instead of trying to ask the pertinent issues of why there is such a disparity, then the other posters don't think thoughtfully about what is proposed, ignore it and repeat the same lines from "the script." Posters 2-4 don't want to learn about the issue and solely use it to vent their rage against another people. They don't plan to address Poster 1. Instead, Posters 2-4 use it as a platform to let their feelings known. Or else--knowing that they don't want to address this issue and are reluctant to confront it--try to throw the thread so that it stops.

There are issues of power here in this aspect as well.

But, let's cut to the chase:

What it comes down to is respect. Empathy, conscience and thought are personal traits. But respect is something that we all need to deal with no matter what background we come from.

And for the most part when people cannot stay on topic, they go after the posters. This also has to stop.


[edit on 2-4-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 01:23 AM
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Culture Awareness Thread.
I like that.. different.

The reason why they where closed, to my knowledge and understanding from Chisslers post is that they where the same topics, by the same people, with the same individuals participating in simultaneously redundantly. Which is why they where closed, they where the same topics?

And they always turn into rhetorical bickering and sometimes (imo) racist rants, but thats just my opinion.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 01:29 AM
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And who encourages them? The thinkers who thoughtfully engage the subject matter?

Or the posters who only want to vent that "this is another thread about race" and "that they know the person's posting history?" Not to mention the phrase, "Not one dime of my money will go to you, you whining, hand-out asking imbecile?"


Now, how does that encourage discussion in a race thread? I'm curious.



[edit on 2-4-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 01:31 AM
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Three posts to show just why this and chisslers thread were started.

Priceless.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 01:35 AM
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Of course it is. And I think that this deserves to be discussed seriously. It goes beyond the threads of myself and Chissler's.

These are pertinent issues that need to be dealt with. And there needs to be answers for them. I am truly curious about why people have to do this and not treat race as an intellectual topic worthy of research and study.

These issues need to be examined so that the race threads will be treated much better and with respect.

So, there is nothing to laugh about.

[edit on 2-4-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 01:38 AM
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I personally think that comment about "not getting a dime" is a perfectly reasonable response to someone who starts a thread demanding money from white people? ... You want a "thoughtful" post to describe "why" when its been done repeatedly.


You can make incredibly long post full of dribble but it all comes down to basic facts, and repeating them doesn't help.

EDIT TO ADD:

The reason why it degenerates from "intellectual" conversation is the same reason for any other thread, emotions run high and begin to fuel posts. If your above that, congratulations thats great that you can do that, if not..
you might be human.

[edit on 4/2/2007 by Rockpuck]



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 01:42 AM
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4

Would it be too much to suggest more moderators for the social issues forum, to handle the infractions?

Very few places in this country can one openly and honestly discuss race issues, and I'd hate to see ATS constrict the openess it has allowed so far.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 01:44 AM
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Just a reminder to all, this is a Board Business & Questions thread discussing the topic "What do you suggest in the place of cultural awareness threads?"

It's not Social Issues, and it's not AbovePolitics.com

The irony is... Ironic.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 02:44 AM
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I was wondering why so many threads discussing the same thing
basically were all still running at the same time.


I have a suggestion, just allow one single thread about it, and have
a two or three strikes rule for the thread.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 04:22 AM
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Ceci,

I would suggest seminars/workshops on Culture, Awareness and Respect; or in lieu of workshops, at least a list of rules at the top each posting grid (as a reminder to be "civil").

For if one does not possess:

CULTURE

AWARENESS

OR RESPECT,

He/she is unable to maintain any semblance of decency on any ATS board. He/she will deviate from the topic, hurl insults and generally disrupt all intellectual discussion.

Those who complete requirements satisfactorily (or, by posting, agree to be "civil") should then be allowed to post on threads containing said subject matter.


That may work!

[edit on 2-4-2007 by CSIfan]

[edit on 2-4-2007 by CSIfan]

[edit on 2-4-2007 by CSIfan]



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 05:52 AM
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Originally posted by CSIfan
I would suggest seminars/workshops on Culture, Awareness and Respect ...


Man ... this is a CONSPIRACY SITE .. it's not some mandatory high school race relations class.


MODS/STAFF - EXCELLENT decision on the Social Issues forum!

It sounds like ya'll put a lot of thought and time into this. I appreciate your attention in this matter.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 06:01 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
1)I would like to know what the staff plans to have in its place when it concerns "race" on this board.


Discussions on race & racism are going to be permitted. We simply felt that we needed to do some "house cleaning" as we had up to six or seven threads discussing the same issue, by the same members. If someone were to initiate a new thread discussing it, we would permit it. But we would close any threads that were deemed redundant afterwards.


Originally posted by ceci2006
2)What if a topic outside of the Social Issues forum has to do with race? Will you close down this thread as well?


Of course not.


Originally posted by ceci2006
3)And, why has the staff chosen to penalize the "good" threads for the sake of the bad ones? For myself especially, I have not created my threads as rants. I treat my threads as social phenomenon in society. For my part, I have posted sources and provided commentary.


It is unfortunate that some threads were closed in the shuffle here. I've u2u'd one member to apologize for the unfortunate events that had to play out. But Ceci, this is to your benefit. This move will allow discussions on race and racism to continue on AP, only in a more civilized manner. Members who break the T&C will be held accountable for their actions, and we as staff, will have a much easier job in enforcing the T&C. When we had six or seven threads discussing the same issue, it was next to impossible to govern these. Members were attacking others, and getting away with it.


Originally posted by ceci2006
Chissler posted a thread about preserving the beloved "Social Issues" forum. The Staff is closing all the race-relation threads down because they feel that they are little more than the same thing. He explains it in his thread why.


Actually, it is the staff's post. I simply hit the post reply button. This was not a "chissler" move. This was a move that all of the staff agreed upon, and all played a role in.


Originally posted by ceci2006
I tend to think that the topics aren't the problem. If people devote themselves to quality talk by staying on topic and not deviating into other issues, that would help a lot.


Exactly. By restricting this discussion to one thread, we can enforce the T&C much more effectively.


Originally posted by nextguyinline
Three posts to show just why this and chisslers thread were started.





Originally posted by FlyersFan
It sounds like ya'll put a lot of thought and time into this. I appreciate your attention in this matter.


Indeed. This was not something we took lightly.

 


Members should understand that this was not to abolish all race and racism discussion on AP. This was simply a move we felt was necessary to help improve these discussions in the future.

We hope you understand, and that we can all continue to contribute in the future. In a civilized manner of course.

[edit on 4/2/2007 by chissler]



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 07:14 AM
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I don't understand why the other threads that differed in aspects of race were closed. I can understand what you guys did on the "copy-cat" issues, though.

But to make a point, on the matter of race, we were discussing:

1)White privilege (which had other people to copy TS's thread unfortunately)

2)The type of words used in race-related discussions (which had nothing to do with the other threads)

3)The words that Blacks call each other predicated on success (which had nothing do with the other threads)

4)A thread on reparations (which had nothing to do with the other threads)

5)A thread discussing slavery and its impact on today's society (which had nothing to do with the other threads)

6)The White History Month thread (which had nothing to do with the other race threads)

These are different aspects of race. I doubt that you can incorporate such a broad topic into one thread because there are too many perspectives.

If you want to put all the race-related threads in one place, however, maybe we do have to revisit the forum on culture, race and ethnicity.


And once the said member creates "one thread" on race, are you going to close the other ones that come after it?

Who is going to judge what the "one topic" will be?

And, frankly, I still think it is unfair and a bad idea. It penalizes the people who actually want to talk about this while rewarding those who want these talks to stop by saying the derogatory tripe that causes discord on the threads. It also penalizes the rest of us who research and post sources for everyone to read.

I disagree that this is the best thing for everyone. I'm sorry, but I think that it still borders on censorship of different ideas and it is built on one narrowed perspective that does not benefit all.

And especially, I would like to know what the description is for a "civilized" thread on Social Issues? Would someone please outline this so we all can be clear about the use of its term when describing the issues that make up our beloved Social Issues forum.


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

And CSIfan, I wish people would approach threads like these with a sense of cultural awareness.

I'm sure it is an excellent decision for those who don't want to discuss race and rather waste their time throwing the threads so they will be in discord.


[edit on 2-4-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 08:43 AM
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The behaviour of our members are going to dictate how we moderate these forums. Unfortunatley, even though some of the aforementioned threads were created with the best of intentions, the behaviour of our members caused the topic of discussion to spiral out of control. We had the same group of members discussing the same issue in several threads.

Ceci, if you author a thred today, it will remain open. If members come in and act "inappropriately", the staff will be able to deal with it much easier. If a member, out of frustration, creates a thread in direct opposition, it will be closed.

We are not saying that the issue of Racism has to be discussed in one "almighty" thread. But we are saying that regurgitations and redundant subjects will be closed, and directed to one thread.

My thoughts on this? You, more than most, will benefit from this.

Ultimately, this move will allow members to get back to discussing the issue, and not one another. I think you enjoy chatting about the issues at hand. After this move, it is our hope that members will be able to do this much more freely. Members who are dead set in their ways to discuss fellow members, they will be dealt with accordingly. Others who abide by the T&C, stay on topic, and avoid petty bickering, they will flourish under this new approach.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 09:00 AM
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From what I saw of the threads in question, most of the discussions devolved into a tedious "cultural obliviousness" where contributors often stubbornly attempted to impose their particularly narrow version of "cultural awareness" on the larger discussion(s). Essentially the same problem that exists in society as a whole... "you must accept my unique culture or you are a racist/bigot/whatever."

While cultural intolerance issues are important in the world outside Internet discussion boards, they need not be an issue here. This is a level arena. There are no preconceived notions about you beyond the quality of the words with which you express yourself and the unique ideas you present.

This is a unique leveling medium, never before seen in the history of communications. Perhaps as ATS members we should aspire to higher standards. Discussion about cultural issues should take advantage of this medium's uniqueness, not mirror what has not worked in the past.





 
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