I can understand limiting personal remarks, baiting and
overt ridicule. BUT, to me the thing about freedom of
speech (and correct me if I'm wrong in this) is that we
live in a world of conflicting ideas - put them all out in
the open, debate their merits and let the best ideas
To say that racism is "ignorant" may not be a legitimate
label. It can be hateful, it is definitely harmful but is it
stupidity or an emotional expression?
In this day and age of politcal correctness I often wonder
exactly which words or phrases some would consider to be
racist. It might be worth your while to post a list so that
none of us should unintentionally cross that line.
Is limiting speech a form of racism in itself?
Name one word that ONLY white people would find offensive
when said about them and other races would not.
There aren't any to my knowldege. Honkey, cracker - I have
to laugh when I hear those. But if we turn it around we all
know how that goes don't we?
I think that much of the supposed racism is more often in the reader's
mind that in the writer's hand.
I have enjoyed my participation in ATS so very, very much.
This is the first website where I have truly felt free to express
my thoughts and feelings without reservation. I try to express
myself in ways that others would not find offensive yet it does
happen despite the best of intent or effort.
My gut reaction to the u2u and thread was "Oh, no. What did
I say to offend someone, am I in trouble here? There was
an instant chill factor set in motion and I'm sure I'm not alone
in that notion. I would hate to think that we now have to enter
into self-censorship to be allowed to participate here.
Racism is fear, fear is an emotion. Shall we monitor all emotional
content on ATS?
I once confronted a man in Washington D.C. who was handing
out flyers about protesting against the Ku Klux Klan marching.
I have protested against the klan many times, one time being
the only protester against about 200 klansmen (I'm glad the
state troopers were between us). Anyways, the guy
was very aggressive about it and told me how badly he'd like
to "pelt the bastards with dog excrement". I challenged him to
tell me how doing that or even protesting would accomplish
anything. His only defense was that it would make him feel
better. I suggested that instead of protesting and being angry
how about lining up on the street and turning your backs on
them instead? What was his goal in protesting? What would
actually cause change to occur in people who you would hope
to alter their views and behavior? Antagonism breeds an atmosphere
of grouping that is self-reinforcing of the very views you would
like to see changed. TO PROTEST THEM VALIDATES THEM.
In a way that may be true here as well. If we would like to see
racism go away on ATS it needs to be brought out in the open
and exposed for what it is, fear - something all of us have.
ATS is a community , perhaps even a family. Do we isolate
our sons and daughters for thinking in ways that are harmful
or do we listen and try to find the root of the problem and
address that? Shall we chastise so that racism becomes something
people hide in the closet like some kind of sexual deviancy or do
we embrace them and let them know they are understood and
gently show them the dangers of their ways and how it is not only
harmful to others but themselves as well?
The ATS terms and conditions pretty much state "dont be a jerk"
well, unfortunately ALL of us are at times but that's the way it
is with us humans.
To sum it up- even if people are being racist in their views there
is still something to learn from them. If we would hope to see
racism go away we can simply ban members and essentially
sweep it under the rug and feel satisfied that at least it isn't here.
we can listen. Then perhaps those making racist comments
will listen to others who are not. Maybe they will actually change
because someone took the time to address their thoughts
It's your website but I challenge you to think about what it is
that you would like to accomplish here and exactly what kind
of internet community this actually is and can grow to be.
Very long winded and I thank you for taking the time to read
my post in it's entirety. Respectfully, ATA