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

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posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 05:10 PM
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Cultural Awareness Awareness


Originally posted by ceci2006
And now, I will turn my attention toward hearing what the staff has to say about tolerance and cultural awareness. And I surely hope that people stop beating around the bush and just simply answer the question instead of "not advocating any position". Please. A lot of staff members have posted on race-threads when they had the chance. I don't see what it actually different here--especially when it does serve to clear the air here.

Stop pussyfooting around and let's discuss cultural awareness.

I think I addressed the question of official staff opinions here, so I hope that's clear.

If you're interested in the opinions of individual staff members on cultural awareness, I think you've gotten answers there as well.


On a personal level, you and I have discussed the issue once or twice (
) so I hope you know where I stand as a member myself.

For anyone who may not know: I personally consider racism inherent to human nature, but a trait that healthy societies must learn to overcome.

So that's my personal bias on the issue.

It's Not About Us

As the official AbovePolitics.com dude, I'm always interested in promoting candid, civil and intelligent discussion of all political topics.

Race/Racism topics are relevant to pretty much every society on earth, certainly seem to be popular and -- to the extent we can discuss them without flaming each other to death -- I very much want members to feel welcome to explore them to their hearts' content.

As for the question of race among our membership, I consider it irrelevant to membership. Members are not asked what their race is when they sign up, nor is any other personal information solicited.

Anyone with an email address and a willingness to post in accordance with the rules is welcome to be a member of ATS, BTS and AbovePolitics.com.

Period.

It's About Us Talking

On that note, I'll add a personal comment about member race which has evolved from following these discussions.

I see no point in any member advertising their race in any way.

Being of a certain race doesn't make anyone an authority on race, because we all are members of some race or another.

Arguments based on a member's personal traits are irrelevant to logical discussion because they are fallacies.

Being a member of a given racial group doesn't make anyone right or wrong.

For example: "I'm right because I'm white, and you're wrong because you're black."

I can't force anyone to understand that, but I can insist that members avoid dragging this sort of nonsense into discussions of race and racism, because ironically enough, it's irrelevant.

And insist I do.

Arguments based on the personal traits of members are unwelcome, and will be treated as such.




posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 05:13 PM
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Spiderj,

Actually, my concerns have not been fully answered. I've stated this three times not only in this thread, but another BBQ thread.

So, respectfully, please do not speak for me when saying something has been "satisfied" or not.

I don't want to fight with you on this either. You're free to wag your finger at me. But once, the dust up is over, I will come back and continue to try and ask for solutions and awareness about this problem on the board. And, I still do think that the action taken by the staff was a wrong one because it does penalize some of the threads on the boards.

But, I feel that this topic still has a lot of legs--especially when there is a problem in discussing cultural awareness. That is why I am truly disatisfied with some members opting instead to accuse me of things that I do not possess.


So, do what you have to do.

I will discuss this topic and stay on it despite the attacks on this topic and myself.





[edit on 6-4-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 05:18 PM
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So, respectfully, please do not speak for me when saying something has been "satisfied" or not.


Why do I get the feeling you have absolutely no respect for me yet demand I respect you.

You get what you give here ceci.

I've been nothing but patient and understanding during my ask and answer session here and yet you feel somehow we are not answering your question and accusing us of hiding behind an agenda or "pussyfooting around"

Do you consider these to be the comments of someone who is interested in hearing the answer or hearing the answer they want to hear.

There is a subtle but powerful difference.

Please, specifically, for all involved what at this point has not been answered to your satisfaction.

Spiderj



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 05:20 PM
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Majic,

I respectfully disagree. This is what I mean by "one perspective". I think the white privilege thread alone teaches us that just because "one race" sees their color "invisible" that they assume that oher races must do this too.

Race here is not irrevelant. It is highly compelling and important because there have been members across the board who have knowingly used their race in their posts. And this was especially the case for white members and their polemical attack on communities, persons and politicans of color. To be honest, to say something like that is just to continue to convey that "race is only relevant" when the dominant culture says it is while when people of color are discussing "race" then it is part of "victim culture, having an agenda or getting on that soapbox".

It's not about calling anyone racist here. But it is outlining a very important argument about the issue of neutrality.

I feel that neutrality is being used as a way to hinder the discussion about tolerance and cultural awareness. In fact, this "neutrality" has been used to either dismiss or ridicule the discussion.

That is why I am displeased and rather dissatisfied with the responses here.

This goes beyond whether anyone has an agenda or not.

Stop with the accusations against me and just answer the question. Treat the issue as it is and leave me out of the equation. Please.



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 05:24 PM
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Originally posted by Spiderj

Do you consider these to be the comments of someone who is interested in hearing the answer or hearing the answer they want to hear.


I don't know. I can't read your mind.



There is a subtle but powerful difference.


Yes, you took the words right out my mouth. There is a subtle difference being communicated here that is plain as day for the people can see it in terms of being frank about cultural awareness.


Please, specifically, for all involved what at this point has not been answered to your satisfaction.


I've said it three times. I don't know what else to tell you.



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 05:27 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
just answer the question.


What is the question???


Several mods (and more members) are pretty sure the questions you've asked have been answered. If they haven't, maybe it's time for you to rephrase the question or clarify it or re-state it.

C'mon! If you really want an answer and not an argument, give a little. Give a hint as to what the question is... Please?



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 05:31 PM
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Just a question now!!!!

Please don't misconstrue it.....


I feel that neutrality is being used as a way to hinder the discussion about tolerance and cultural awareness. In fact, this "neutrality" has been used to either dismiss or ridicule the discussion.


How can Neutrality be used to hinder, or assist for that matter?

Does not the very definition of neutrality preclude that?

I for one advocate and appreciate the neutrality of the Administration. It's what keeps us all here...

Semper



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 05:35 PM
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I feel that neutrality is being used as a way to hinder the discussion about tolerance and cultural awareness. In fact, this "neutrality" has been used to either dismiss or ridicule the discussion.


Well youre wrong.

Let me try and put this in a way you can understand. here is a thread I was involved in before I became a mod:
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Now personally I found the entire concept of thread not only ignorant and insulting but just down right offensive on a number of levels.

But what should ATS do in this situation? Should they say this POV is not allowed here because it's ignorant and hateful? Or should the policy be what it always has been which is everyone has the right to their opinion no matter how personally offensive it is.

I don't like threads that smell of anti-semetism and I even moderate the MEC forum where its a real hot button issue.

But are we better served by shutting out all view points we don't agree with or are we better served by ineracting with these people possibly changing their point of view or at the very least learning more about why people feel the way they do about certain topics wether religion, ethnicity or even sexual identity.

Telling people You can not post this or that does not help the problem.

All view points must be allowed to be expressed or none at all. The person who thinks jews rule the world is just as free to post as the person who thinks blacks are inferior or that all latinos are criminals.

It's offensive, it's ignorant and it can be down right scary at times but that's life, thats the world and thats why it must be allowed her and faced head on.

Issue by issue member by member one at a time not a big broad stroke.

Spiderj



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 05:38 PM
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Well heck. I'm wrong. Now, you've said your peace. And I'm still expecting a straight answer about cultural awareness without retreating towards "neutrality".

What makes these views on "neutrality" right? I just tend to think that it is a cop-out and a way for especially some members can use to get out of answering the hard questons.

I am still not satisfied by the responses. And I still think that it has not been explained clearly enough.

I'm sorry to say that, but coming from a different cultural perspective, I am just not satisfied by people trying to hide behind other aspects to get out of answering a pertinent issue. I'm also not satisfied by persons trying to turn this is into a war between themselves and the OP.



[edit on 6-4-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 05:39 PM
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A Matter Of Opinion


Originally posted by ceci2006
I feel that neutrality is being used as a way to hinder the discussion about tolerance and cultural awareness. In fact, this "neutrality" has been used to either dismiss or ridicule the discussion.

Members are not required to be neutral.

Neutrality applies to the idea that the ATS community has some sort of overall opinion representative of the membership as a whole, which it does not.

There is no such thing as an "ATS opinion", and it is pointless to demand one.

Discussions of any topic in compliance with the AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use are valid and welcome, others are not.

I've repeatedly pointed out that discussions of race and racism are welcome on these same terms.

What's wrong with that?


False Accusations


Originally posted by ceci2006
Stop with the accusations against me and just answer the question. Treat the issue as it is and leave me out of the equation. Please.

What accusations have I made against you?



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Well heck. I'm wrong. Now, you've said your peace. And I'm still expecting a straight answer about cultural awareness.


What about my answer or majics wasn't straight forward enough for you.

I don't know how much more understanding, patient and clear we can be.

Yes in thinking we're using neutrality as an excuse you are wrong, it's that simple you're wrong.

Spiderj



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 05:49 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
Members are not required to be neutral.


If that is the case, then discuss cultural awareness. Stop with trying to use neutrality as an "invisible knapsack."


Neutrality applies to the idea that the ATS community has some sort of overall opinion representative of the membership as a whole, which it does not.


You're right, officially. But unofficially, I beg to differ--especially with the lack of suggestions regarding cultural awareness and tolerance.


There is no such thing as an "ATS opinion", and it is pointless to demand one.


I'm not. I don't know who is saying this. I'm just asking a few questions and would like some answers.


I've repeatedly pointed out that discussions of race and racism are welcome on these same terms.

What's wrong with that?


There's nothing wrong with it. But that still doesn't take away from the fact that no one from the staff has any solutions about tolerance. And getting them to discuss cultural awareness is like getting blood from a turnip.


It's not you who has been involved in the accusations. I am just very tired of people accusing me of having an "agenda" as well as other things to get out of answering the question. And assertively saying so is not being out of line. I'm just tired of it.



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 05:54 PM
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Members don't have to be neutral, mods however must remain neutral that's part of being a mod.

Not letting your personal feelings get in the way of the true nature of the board.

spiderj



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 05:59 PM
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Tolerance As A Solution


Originally posted by ceci2006
There's nothing wrong with it. But that still doesn't take away from the fact that no one from the staff has any solutions about tolerance. And getting them to discuss cultural awareness is like getting blood from a turnip.

The only problem with tolerance I'm seeing as a staff member is that some members seem to be intolerant of the opinions of other members, and seek to suppress them in ways that violate our rules.

The solution is to enforce the rules.

Awareness of this is important to understanding our culture as an online community.



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 06:16 PM
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Believe me, the intolerance goes both ways.

And, if people were truly tolerant of people's opinions on the board, the "race threads" would have been left alone.


So if this is the stance on "neutrality" and "tolerance", it is just paying lip service as well as reinforcing the code of silence here when it has to do with cultural awareness.

The sad thing about this is that this topic is still not addressed by turning it into a referendum "about me". And I don't want it to be about me. That is why I am rather hesitant to even post on the BBQ forum because of this very reason. I do not want this to be a thread of drama unlike the other times. I am sick of it. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but it just has to be so.

That is why I haven't said a lot in this thread except at key times. I wanted to hear what other members thought about this issue. But when it gets down to it, only a few people have something truly important and helpful to say about the topic of cultural awareness and tolerance.

In fact, tolerance is being treated here as a shield instead of trying to engage in proactive ways here.

I would like to see solutions to the idea of tolerance of the board as well as cultural awareness. I am tired of the semantic games and the hiding behind the T and C. We need to engage in real talk here and stop trying to deal with this in "delightfully neutral" ways to get out of this aspect.

I'm sorry to keep on making this point over and over, but it has to be said.

And no, the answers were not clear. In fact, they only seemed to obfuscate matters more.

I meant it when I stated at the very front I would not entertain any disparaging remarks about myself, my posts or my character.

Now, I will step aside and see if just one person can stop sweeping things under the rug and be truthful about these issues. I would hate to think that in the guise of neutrality and "tolerance" that honesty was a casualty.


[edit on 6-4-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 06:32 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
And, if people were truly tolerant of people's opinions on the board, the "race threads" would have been left alone.


The T&C were being broken. It had nothing to do with tolerance.


Originally posted by ceci2006
I would like to see solutions to the idea of tolerance of the board


The board does not advocate tolerance. The board does not suppress tolerance. ATS is not a government and is under no obligation to foster or nurture tolerance.

There is no solution to be found. The solution is that there is no problem.

Perhaps you think that ATS should take a stand on tolerance. That's kinda too bad. Because it is their policy NOT to take a stand on any issue, tolerance included.

People are allowed to be intolerant here if they want to. People are allowed to be tolerant.



as well as cultural awareness.


See above. Replace the word "tolerance" with "cultural awareness".



I'm sorry to keep on making this point over and over, but it has to be said.


And you have been heard. From what I've seen in the past, continuing to make this point over and over when it has already been addressed will probably get the thread closed.

Your questions have been answered, I think you just don't like the answers you got.



And no, the answers were not clear.


Why is it that they're so crystal clear to everyone else? Is it that you don't want to accept the answers?



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 06:34 PM
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Unfortunately ceci we have been honest and open we've replied calmly and with great care.

If it isn't to your satisfaction then I doubt anything here will be.

Now you obviously feel we're hiding something. What exactly would that be, what are you really accusing us of?

If we are not being honest then you must assume we have an agenda and philosophy that we aren't sharing with the general members.

What do you feel that is? What exactly are we sweeping under the rug.

In my opinion, which I believe I'm still entitled to You're hiding your own anger, fear and hate behind a curtain of civility, please tell us what is the true agenda of ATS, I'm very curious to know.

Spiderj



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 06:39 PM
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There is established policy regarding the issue regarding the Social Issues Forum, and the posting trends that have garnered all this attention. That is the time honored Terms & Conditions Of Use to which every ATS member has agreed to when joining this discussion board. In addition to those guidelines there are specific guidelines governing the Social Issues Forum at AbovePolitics.com. Those guidelines can be read here, and were approved by the Three Amigos. The process for developing forum guidelines is not a haphazard one, nor is it the work of any single individual. There is no end to the hand wringing and dissection that entails such an undertaking. Even after the posting of said guidelines, the process continues, and the rules must stand the test of time and usage. Updates and revisions are always contemplated, and when deemed appropriate, implemented. Casual dismissal of the ATS Staff’s diligence on this matter is unfounded, and gratuitous.

The staff members were selected from the most capable members, and perform their duties sans compensation… A labor of love if you will. These duties are never taken lightly, and by accepting a staff position that member is embracing not only the increased scrutiny of the Three Amigos, but the entire membership of ATS. The ability to perform the duties of a moderator here with purely altruistic intent is difficult, but by checks and balances, and a team effort the result is fair, above board, and in the truest spirit of “Deny Ignorance.” To make the callous accusations and to insinuate that there is some form of conspiracy to suppress a particular voice or point of view through either apathy or tacit racism is beyond the pale.

ATS strives to provide the finest venue for the exchange and discussion of ideas and issues, and will continue to try and improve in any way possible to be as inclusive and as broad in scope as possible. That being said, ATS is a private entity, and to transform itself to satisfy one member's ideal or vision is not even in the realm of contemplation. If someone finds the comfortable environs of ATS too confining for their views, I suggest a proactive course of action! There is a whole world wide web out there to embrace new ideas and endeavors. Disagreement can lead to the vision of enterprise and the germ of something new and different.


The bottom line is that the Terms & Conditions will continue to be enforced in a fair and even manner in all forums

The Social Issues Forum Guidelines will be enforced, and will be in a steady state of review and revision by the staff. The posting “styles” that led to the creation to these specific guidelines will not be tolerated. Period.

Individuals that cannot abide by these simple guidelines will be subject to administrative action, up to and including Permanent Banning. Make no mistake, if a member manages to engage in disruptive activity that leads to being banned, the member will have earned the status of persona non grata any attempt to return to ATS will result in immediate banning of new accounts without warning or comment.

There will be no policy regarding awareness or sensitivity… There will remain the standing policy of civility and decorum. ATS is a diverse environment, and should a member choose not to be “aware” that is their choice… To legislate a particular stance or point of view is precisely what ATS is not about. Should a member transition from an inward choice of ignorance to an outward violation of the Terms & Conditions, that member will be dealt with by the staff as policy has always dictated.

If there is any interested guest speaker that would contribute to the overall enlightenment of the membership and visitors of ATS then a vigorous pursuit of that person should be undertaken. If any member has any relationship or insight that could lead to obtaining a guest speaker it should be brought to the attention of the staff via the ATS Complain/Suggestion Form. To establish some criteria or quota based on anything other than expertise in a conspiracy related field, and a willingness to appear on ATS is inherently flawed. Any and all conspiracy theorist are welcome with open arms at ATS, and should a particular theorist through research or fame have appeal as a Guest Speaker, Conspiracy Master, Sponsored Forum, or some other tailored forum or venue… They will be granted that status based on who they are, not what they are.

In conclusion, participation at ATS is elective; there is nothing holding any member here, nor is there any obligation to engage in any activity that a member or individual may find offensive. If the parameters of posting here are an imposition, then perhaps it is time to move on.

To each member, the choice is yours.


[edit on 6/4/2007 by Mirthful Me]



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 07:06 PM
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Respectfully, this is not about whether one can or cannot abide by the rules.

It is about discussing cultural awareness and what can be done to promote it here on the board.

If people would stop fighting me and discuss the issue as it is, then the drama would stop.

But, I find that it must be hard to discuss this aspect about the board because of the issues of tolerance and neutrality.

I don't mean to cause discord or a disturbance. But there is a problem of cultural awareness on the board. And it doesn't help matters when people refuse to focus on the topic and use other things in order to avoid it.

But it's not my problem. I will discuss cultural awareness on the board--after I take a true distance away from this thread to see if people can be honest about this and discuss it here. It is part of board business.

I think there is a problem--especially if the race-related threads are focused upon--opposed to other topical threads that have caused as much drama. I think that even this provides a smokescreen for the larger issue here.

The reason why there is not a policy of cultural awareness on the board is that the people don't truly want to entertain it. And to top it off, it refuses to be considered or thought about by the people who matter.

With this example put forth, why would anyone else care about cultural awareness and how it could promote empathy of other views?

If people truly wanted this to happen, there would be no attacks about this issue. They would simply do it, participate in finding solutions and move on.

I'm sorry, but I think that it is a waste of time to continue to entertain people's fears and omissions here. That's how I see this "neutrality" talk.

Admonish me if you must. But it won't wipe this problem away. It will still be here. thread or no thread. And until it is dealt with, the problem about cultural awareness will still stick out like a sore thumb no matter how many people try to sweep it under the rug.

It's time to just discuss cultural awareness as it is and provide some solutions.

I am very sorry for repeating this as well, but I will continue to repeat it until someone does say something about cultural awareness on the board without shying away from it.



[edit on 6-4-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 07:16 PM
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Cici,

your questions have been answered. Your tone is reflecting a dire ignorance of what this site is about, the FREE EXCHANGE of ideas limited ONLY in TONE (politeness is REQUIRED not conditional or optional) NEVER in TOPIC.

If someone wants to be "intolerant" and they can do so in a civil and polite manner they ARE WELCOME HERE. If they are hateful or disruptive they ARE GONE.

That being the case in NO WAY indicates ANY sort of endorsement of ANY POSITION, ATS is AGNOSTIC, it has no opinions, it has no "stance" it has no position.

ATS is a VENUE not a person or a bully pulpit.


You've had issues with being polite and civil in the past and that's unfortunate. You're continued rehashing of an issue that is important to you is getting tiresome. If the other members want to discuss these issues they will, if they don't they won't.

I want you to know that if ATS isn't meeting your discussion forum needs, there is a World Wide Web out there that I am confident will have a spot you can be happy in. If the idea of civil discourse and people being whatever they want to be, including intolerant, tolerant, intelligent or plain dumb as a stump, is disconcerting to you then I suggest you create a site, build it, fund it and put whatever limitations or requirements that suit your needs upon the participants.

There is no way we are going to change a thing to accommodate ANY position, topic or concept, it's not going to happen because the minute we do we have equally disenfranchised its opposite.

Springer...





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