Problem: Not Solved
While the thread so far seems to be doing a good job of illustrating the problem, I don't think we're any closer to a solution at this point. Maybe
it would help if we revisit the problem.
So, what is the problem?
"Free speech" protestations notwithstanding, AbovePolitics.com (AP)
, is a moderated
discussion board. The role of the moderators is to enforce the
AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use
While there is no shortage of specific violations related to these threads that could fill a long list on their own, "Section 8" of the
discusses the Right of Community Management, and that's what I'm invoking
in this case.
Speaking as the person responsible for managing AbovePolitics.com
-- and again, bearing in mind that I very much
want AP to be a place where we can talk about racism and other controversial issues -- I'm not happy with what's going on in several of these racism
Last year I wrote this
and refer to it often because it explains a principle that's
essential to making our community what it is.
Yes, we could
go back and hand out warnings to offending members, and in the case of one or two "problem members", that may be enough.
In this case, however, the problem seems somewhat more systemic, something needs to be done about it, and I would strongly prefer we come to a
collaborative solution rather than handing out a stack of post bans and red flag warnings.
A Closer Look At The Problem
Here are some examples which illustrate what I'm talking about:
Successful Black Prejudice
Slavery... Who's fault was it?
Real Talk about Minority Privileges !!!
The Lasting Effects of Slavery
In each case, what could
be an intelligent and stimulating discussion ultimately devolves into a now-familiar pattern.
The problem is NOT the topic. The problem is that some members seem to be unable to discuss the topic of racism without steering the thread into
personal commentary, recriminations and general flaming.
Since we are all personally affected by racism in some way or another, I think I can understand why racism threads tend to go this route.
However, enough members -- both participants and staff -- have complained about this that it's obvious something needs to be done.
Solving The Problem
A valid solution to this problem must meet these conditions:
1. It must put an end to the pattern of abusive and hateful behavior which currently characterizes racism discussions.
2. It must be fair, practical and easy for members to go along with.
3. It must comply with the AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use
Anything else is not a solution.
How You Can Help
Like I said: I'm open to ideas.
However, I will not tolerate any further attempts to derail this discussion with insults directed at any member, including staff members, so let's
amend that to say I'm open to constructive
ideas, and am reopening this thread to encourage my fellow members to help us solve this
To that end, I welcome all constructive
comments on the nature of the problem and how we can solve it.