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BS: Responses To Racism

Azizi 19 Feb 06 - 01:34 PM
Amos 19 Feb 06 - 01:40 PM
John MacKenzie 19 Feb 06 - 01:53 PM
Divis Sweeney 19 Feb 06 - 01:58 PM
Ron Davies 19 Feb 06 - 02:02 PM
gnu 19 Feb 06 - 02:09 PM
Jeri 19 Feb 06 - 02:10 PM
Cluin 19 Feb 06 - 02:22 PM
wysiwyg 19 Feb 06 - 02:26 PM
Clinton Hammond 19 Feb 06 - 02:30 PM
Rapparee 19 Feb 06 - 02:34 PM
The Shambles 19 Feb 06 - 02:37 PM
Clinton Hammond 19 Feb 06 - 03:15 PM
gnu 19 Feb 06 - 03:36 PM
GUEST 19 Feb 06 - 03:43 PM
leftydee 19 Feb 06 - 04:24 PM
gnu 19 Feb 06 - 04:30 PM
autolycus 19 Feb 06 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,questioner 19 Feb 06 - 05:07 PM
Rapparee 19 Feb 06 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,dianavan 19 Feb 06 - 06:03 PM
Azizi 19 Feb 06 - 06:13 PM
Azizi 19 Feb 06 - 06:18 PM
Bobert 19 Feb 06 - 07:00 PM
CarolC 19 Feb 06 - 07:07 PM
Clinton Hammond 19 Feb 06 - 07:17 PM
GUEST 19 Feb 06 - 07:41 PM
Janie 19 Feb 06 - 07:46 PM
Clinton Hammond 19 Feb 06 - 08:02 PM
hilda fish 19 Feb 06 - 08:05 PM
wysiwyg 19 Feb 06 - 08:13 PM
Bobert 19 Feb 06 - 08:16 PM
Jeri 19 Feb 06 - 08:21 PM
kendall 19 Feb 06 - 08:22 PM
Ebbie 19 Feb 06 - 08:23 PM
wysiwyg 19 Feb 06 - 09:12 PM
Clinton Hammond 19 Feb 06 - 09:39 PM
GUEST 19 Feb 06 - 09:42 PM
Azizi 19 Feb 06 - 09:45 PM
Janie 19 Feb 06 - 09:47 PM
Clinton Hammond 19 Feb 06 - 09:48 PM
Azizi 19 Feb 06 - 09:51 PM
GUEST 19 Feb 06 - 09:53 PM
freda underhill 19 Feb 06 - 10:09 PM
Cluin 19 Feb 06 - 10:42 PM
Bobert 19 Feb 06 - 11:24 PM
Clinton Hammond 19 Feb 06 - 11:42 PM
number 6 19 Feb 06 - 11:53 PM
hilda fish 20 Feb 06 - 01:00 AM
GUEST 20 Feb 06 - 01:33 AM

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Subject: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 01:34 PM

I'm back!

[Put an "l" after the "b" and before the "a" and that's also a true statement. LOL!]

First, I would like to thank all those who wrote public and/or private messages to me about my decision to leave Mudcat.
I very much appreciate all of those messages.

I had decided to leave Mudcat because I felt that I was blindsided by what was -in my opinion- a particularly offensive post by a Mudcat member. The thread's title appeared to be one that had nothing to do with race or racism. The offensive post was the thread's first comment. After that first comment, most posters on that thread ignored the offensive comment and talked about issues related to that thread's subject. However, at least one member commented about the racist comment before I posted my comment.
After I wrote my comment, several other persons posted comments that also spoke out about that first comment.

In hindsight, I believe that if I had not had a particularly traumatic day at work, I may not have reacted as I did to that post. But my work is often traumatic, so perhaps that is not the reason.
I just think that I had one of those moments when it all became too much. As I said in my post that was deleted along with the rest of that thread, what bothered me more than the racist comment was the fact that most people ignored it. [btw, there was absolutely no allusions-that post was openly racist]

Ignoring racist and otherwise offensive posts may be the perferred strategy for Mudcat forum's members. I admit that this is the tactic that I usually use. Most of the times, I don't even open a BNP thread, or other such threads. But I'm wondering now if the practice [policy?] of ignoring such post might not send a message that Mudcat doesn't mind racism.

Furthermore, deleting the responses to that racist posts may mean that teaching & sharing moments were lost. But since the offensive post was the first one in the thread, would my comment and others speaking out against it make sense if only the first comment and not the entire thread been deleted? Should the first post been deleted and the thread declared closed? That is not my call to make.

But I wonder what folks here think should be the appropriate response when I and others are confronted with racist and offensive remarks.

If we email Joe and ask that the thread be deleted or closed, then if we feel the need or the desire to share our feelings about this experience in the public forum, where should we do that? Maybe some people might think that sharing a personal response to racism shouldn't be done at all on this public forum. However, I disagree.

That's the main reason why I'm back. I feel the need to talk to 'Catters about my response {reaction?}to that offensive post and the lack of comments in the thread about that post. I should say that a number of members have PMed me to say that had they seen that post, they would have responded on that thread. I thanked them privately and I want to thank them publicly.

And perhaps I should say what should go without saying-I have talked to people in the real world outside of Mudcat, about this experience. But I feel the need to know what 'Catters think about this. Should people ignore offensive posts? If so, what about the feelings those posts cause? I think that ignoring them would be unhealthy. And what about sharing feelings and insight about these types of experiences with the community at large? Isn't there some value to that?

I guess I could have stayed gone. But I like it here. And as some of you have said in your PMs to me, the racist poster would win if I decided to leave because of him.

So here I am. And this poem exemplifies where I am emotionally:

Invictus
William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Source:
a href="http://academic.udayton.edu/vernelliarandall/poetry/Invictus.htm">http://academic.udayton.edu/vernelliarandall/poetry/Invictus.htm

Thanks, again. You all know who you are.


Azizi


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Amos
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 01:40 PM

Man, I am glad you decided to come back, Aziz.

But I dunno the answer to your question. Dealing with assholes in the midst of a civil conversation is always dicey, since most good conversations are predicated on inclusion and civility. Someone like that comes along and you are faced with a schizo situation. Perhaps the right thing to do is to not receive any such communication -- the intant you see it, you drop it without regret or response and it isn't allowed to register.

That's a personal choice sometimes hard to make. I guess it depends on which buttons get pushed.

Anyway, you should know your usually good spirits and articulate courage are appreciated.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 01:53 PM

Welcome back, I didn't see the thread complained of, and perhaps a permathread could be added to point out that all such posts will be deleted without hesitation. It's a shame that you are as far as I am aware, the only black person posting here as I would like to think this is an all inclusive site, and like to see all folks feel they can post on here, providing they keep a civil tongue in their head that is!
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Divis Sweeney
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 01:58 PM

A welcomed return.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 02:02 PM

As I've said earlier, I think that a racist posting should result in killing the thread immediately. We don't need to, and shouldn't, tolerate that garbage. Of necessity it has to be a judgment call.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: gnu
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 02:09 PM

WB! Glad you did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 02:10 PM

If a racist thread or post isn't yet deleted, it likely will be. Discussion and people saying stupid things others don't agree with likely won't.

I don't reply to racist provocation because it will only do the harm they wish done. It never does any good to reply to trolls. There are thousands of Mudcatters. Every one of them replying angrily to ever abomination they saw would make for a pretty scary site. If you honestly believe I might be a racist because I don't jump through hoops set by these people, I offer the following:

I hate racism. I hate it in other people and would hate it in myself more. In real life, when my words have meaning and can lead to action, I will speak out. If my words have no meaning other than to inflame anger and contibute to a troll's smug, feeling of power and control, I will not post. I believe I validate a point of view by arguing with it.

In short, I'm not going to be responing to racists here. If you see me not responding, and you think I might be agreeing because I'm not playing their game, please refer to this message or PM me.

And I'm glad you decided to stick around!


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Cluin
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 02:22 PM

Welcome back, Azizi. Good to see you try to clear the air.

I didn't see the offending thread & post, though I did see the one that set off Peace, and his responses to it.

How to deal with it?

I have to admit my first impulse is to do what Peace did. But I've learned over time to not go with my first impulse, at least in an Internet forum (in person, however, it's a different story). You really do have to develop a thick skin when on-line. There are a lot of people out there who like to get other people riled up, for no other reason than the sense of control it gives them. I might speculate on why, but I really don't care; they don't deserve the attention, frankly.

And as for whether responding to them encourages them to come back, I think it might. They remember this place as a good one to come to when they want a fight. As for why they want a fight, well... see the above paragraph. There are a lot of right-wing oriented people who come here to post and argue and discuss, because they find a lot of left-wing thinking people here who oppose their views. Hey, it's a folk music oriented site. Go figure!... Why do they keep coming back? Because they get something out of. And most of those discussions are constructive, if polarized. Nature of the beast, really; short polarized posts read better than long, reasonable monologues. What works in face-to-face conversation doesn't work as well in an internet forum because so many of the tools of communication we humans have evolved don't come across in a series of typed words.

But with the out-and-out rascist and insulting posts and threads, I'd say the best course of action would be to not respond to them (giving them what they want) and to either post a request for deletion or send a PM to Joe Offer requesting their deletion. If a discussion forms over such issues, while it may have some positive benefits, it makes it hard for Joe and the Clones to decide what to delete. It's a very hard topic to discuss without tempers flaring and things falling apart into chaos. Which is too bad because it's a very important issue which needs discussing. Catch 22...


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 02:26 PM

Azizi,

I post about 'isms' when I see a chance to teach, if my mind is working well on that day and if I have effective real-life experience to back up my planned comment. That would be one end of a WIDE spectrum-- at the other end of the spectrum would be ignoring a post I am sure was made only for the purpose of trolling.

Sometimes I don't comment because I just need to think about the MOST effective response and that doesn't always happen instantaneously.... but I can see how the cumulative effect of that is to leave a gaping silence, with your heart (or others of people of color) scrunched into a long, painful moment. You raised the issue so sensitively, so articulately, that I can see how wrong that is-- and right now, I don't know what to do about that.

I did make an observation in a thread not long ago, about PC-ness, where I mentioned how Mudcat seldom hears the voices of people of color on what "we" (whie folk) have the luxury of dismissing as PC. My thought at the time was that making that observation was probably going to push most folks past their tolerance for a learning opportunity, but that it might just start one or two people thinking in a new way, so I went ahead and said it. Azizi, you posted in that thread as well, so you probably saw the heat I took for just that one small observation. Even after people tried to provoke me, I worked pretty hard to avoid posting there further, so as not to detract from anyone's opportunity to reflect on what I had already said my mucking it up with a debate over what I had meant, etc. And I was glad to see your thoughts in that thread.

I think that the reality is that Mudcat has enough people who have not shared your experience of racism that it's going to remain a hard place for most people of color to hang out. In the anti-racism work I've done, it's invariably been said by people of color, in their time to share, that being alone or nearly alone in an unaware environment is just really, really hard.

So I would ask-- what response from other members here would make it better?

There was one response I proposed to the uglier trolling behavior here, a long time ago, that served to register community feeling without giving the trolls a textual respose to feed off of. That was the frown-emoticon, which looks like this:

:~(

It fell into disuse soon after it caught on. :~)

But would a symbol like that help you see how many people are standing with you, even if silently?

Please advise,

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 02:30 PM

About the only thing worse than "I'm Leaving" threads are "I'm Back" threads.....

Sweet merciful fuck, it's just the internet... try oh try to get some frigg'n perspective eh


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 02:34 PM

OLD PROC
by Wallace McRae

Old-timers in the neighborhood
Would bandy words on who was good
At puncher jobs for hours on end when I was just a kid.
They'd get wall-eyed 'n paw and bawl
And swear, "By damn I knowed 'em all.
If'n Josh he wasn't best trailhand, I'Il eat my beaver lid!"

"Down and dirty, I'm the dealer.
Old Bob Seward? Best damn peeler
Ever snapped a bronc out, jist give me one he broke."
"Give, you say? That's what I heard.
You're right that Bob's a tough ol' bird.
But better practice cactus pickin' and work on your spur stroke.

Cain't stay astraddle one of his'n
When he pops the plug and goes t' fizzin'
She'll be adios caballo and howdy to the nurse."
They'd move from bickering bronc peelers
To rawhide hands 'n fancy heelers.
"Red Carlin?" "Young Mac Philbrick?" They'd testify and curse.

They'd analyze Link Taylor's cuttin':
"His bag-splittin' way of calf denuttin'
Is pure askin' for trouble, 'sides he don't cut by the sign."
"You cut your calves by the moon?
Keep on night brandin' and pretty soon
The sheriff'll change yer address and you'Il be twistin' hair and twine."

On they'd rave and postulate
'Bout who was fair 'n who was great.
As they scratched brands in the hot dust, I'd never say a word.
But in their jousting verbal battle,
Among the boasts and barbs and prattle,
I sat in youthful judgment as they sorted out the herd.

So I came early to understand
The names of every good top hand.
In my scope of country, from hearing tough hands talk.
But when they'd crow and blow and boast
The one name that came up the most
Was a wily wild horse runner they simply caIled "ol' Proc."

"You boys jist start 'em. I'll stop 'em."
Old Proc'd say and then he'd chop 'em
Off at some escape route. He'd wheel 'n bring them in.
"Proc thinks horse," I'd heard them say,
And finally there came the day .
That I would get to meet this fabled mounted paladin.

My mother's father, John McKay,
Up and said one fine spring day
While I was staying with them, "Minnie, get your bonnet."
"Let's go up by the Castle Rock
'N see some country, visit Proc.
If you're late, I'll be upset. You can bet your life upon it."

He never paused for her reply.
My grandma fussed around and I
Asked grandpa, "Is he the wild horse man?" "That's him," my grandpa said.
As we ricocheted and bounced our way
In a tobacco-stained green Chevrolet
My grandpa told "Proc stories" and chewed and spit and sped.

From all the tales Grandpa told me
I felt like an authority
On this ranahan, Joe Proctor, who came north with Texas cattle.
His wife had been the JO cook.
But Proc had sparked and won and took
Her for his bride. They fought and won the homestead battle.

I couldn't wait to meet Mr. Proc,
Whose peers all praised his ways with stock.
But when his calloused hand gripped mine, surprise hit me in waves.
Those old cowboys who cut no slack
Deemed it unimportant Proc was black,
And wasn't worth a mention that Joe Proctor's folks were slaves.


That's the way I feel.

Welcome back, lady. You're a Top Hand.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 02:37 PM

The following was posted in another thread but fits as a response to the first post of this one.

If there was ever anything that was obvious in the context of censorship - it would not be the sensitive and difficult issue that it is and accepted to be, just about everywhere else but on our forum. Where it and our essential freedoms are encouraged to seen in such embarrassingly simplistic terms.

As for "snuffing out racist/hate/abuse", most of us would be in favour of this but perhaps we have to be realistic on our forum? If "snuffing out" means preventing such things from being posted - there is no way of doing this.

All that current reactive measures can do is trying prevent such stuff from remaining after it has been posted and any damage already done. But the answer to 'snuffing it out' starts with accepting that such posting cannot be prevented and not indignantly over-reacting to it when it inevitably does appear.

All of this righteous judgement and indignant over-reaction does is provide the attention that these things crave and should be denied. If threads they appear with such things - ignore them - without fuss and let them die. If such posts appear in existing threads - simply ignore them. It is not too difficult - we do it with graffiti, so just treat it here in exactly the same way.

Leaving things that are posted univited on our forum in place but ignored is neither tolerating such propaganda or endorsing it. It is a show of strength not weakness. It is simply accepting the fact that there is no more way of preventing those with a will to do this - than there is of preventing graffiti. It is simply demonstrating acceptance of that fact and not indulging ourselves in making useless judgements.

Washing off graffiti does not solve the problem it only gives temporary respite and provides an irresistable open space to be filled again with bigger letters, brighter colours and more extreme opinions. The challenge is the same online and only increases with any clumsy measures to combat it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 03:15 PM

"If "snuffing out" means preventing such things from being posted - there is no way of doing this"

Bull... Disallow 'guest' postings... make people have to register to post.... make people have to proved an ISP email addy to register...

If someone 'breaks the rules' warn them once.... and delete the offending post.... if the person continues, delete the post and BAN their IP number... (except that I'll wager Mudcats software can't do that)

It's not rocket science.... But it would mean that the people who claim to run this place would have to take an active interest in running it...

That's what it means to be an admin. or moderator of an internet message board....


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: gnu
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 03:36 PM

Ah... I feel poorly because I didn't PM every clone I know and alert them to "that post" (I am pretty sure I am talking about the same post.) when I read it. I did just that previously, a couple of times. a fair while ago, and then thought, gnu, who are you to judge? Essentially, an "alert" is pretty much ASKING to have a post or thread deleted. Puts the clones in an awkward position, doesn't it?

All I can say is that I knew it was destined for the garbage bin as soon as any clone saw it. I only read that first post... twice. I had to read it twice because I had to verify that I had not missed something in the first reading. I was shocked. I left.

BTW Azizi, since you have not been at the Café for all that long a time, let me inform you that it was not the first time I (we?) have been shocked by this 'Cat. This 'Cat has been taken to task on more than one occasion and not just for racist posts. Even with contrition, every now and then, this 'Cat's true colours show. (Sorry... I can never help myself if I see even a glimmer of trying to lighten things up with a bit of humour.)

So. Azizi. Another hearty WB!!! Don't, well, of course, try not to, feed the trolls... or the assholes. Let the clones sort them out. And never, NEVER, ever, leave again. Even for a minute.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 03:43 PM

Reality check time for y'all.

Clinton, Mudcat's software can be set to block IPs, because mine have been blocked, sometimes for months at a time, for criticizing Max. Hence, the "personal attack" rule.

However, it has never stopped me from posting, either as a guest or a member.

The actual reality that Azizi and others don't want to accept is that racist posting IS tolerated here, just as sexist posting is.

It is tolerated with the justification "We clones can't do anything to delete a racist/sexist thread once all the Usual Suspects start responding to it."

Which is bullshit, of course. If it were my forum, I'd regularly delete all that crap.

The "personal attack" rule is justification for keeping dissenters in line, and criticism of the leaders of the Mudcat hierarchy in check.

People who post hear do fear being censored, while also wanting others to be censored. Just not for the right reasons ethically.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: leftydee
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 04:24 PM

90+% of the 'Catters are good genuine folk. Don't let the assholes get you down. Consider the source and pity them.

Lefty


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: gnu
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 04:30 PM

In response to... Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism, From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 03:43 PM. I offer this...


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: autolycus
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 04:58 PM

Azizi, welcome back from another relative newcomer.

The responses to you show how Mudcat can function like a support group. That's surely to be treasured.

It's a pleasure (for me) to find such a funny, interesting, argumentative, friendly, helpful, knowledgable and tolerant bunch as I've stumbled across here.



Obnoxious racists seem to disappear if

a)there is zilch respose

b)you ask the kind of questions or make the cool factual statements they can't answer.

My taste is for the latter e.g.re the U.K."Unless you're a Pict, you're a descendant of immigrants";re anywhere, people from our beginnings and for many millenia, wandered the planet, so we're all a mixture; or, geneticists say we are all related by not more distant the about sixth cousin.

What's probably counter-productive is arguing or attacking/defending.

"The world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps cool."(William McFee,novelist)


I suppose we may each come and go as we please, as long as we realise that there will be consequences either way.

Auto/Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: GUEST,questioner
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 05:07 PM

About the only thing worse than "I'm Leaving" threads are "I'm Back" threads.....

So the question of the day is: Why does Cinton Hammond feel the need to respond numerous times to every "I'm leaving" and every "I'm back" thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 05:56 PM

Even the Picts and the American Indians were immigrants....


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 06:03 PM

Azizi - I'm glad you're back.

It does no good to run away and hide. I'm glad you're back. Its the only thing to do to prove that racism is futile.

Just remember that racist remarks make them look worse than anything you would ever say or do.

Always speak up and call people on their racism. That goes for everyone. Someday racism will be unheard of. In fact, very little racism exists in the upper class. Racism is cultivated as a means of keeping the lower classes at each other's throats (that way they will never join forces against their true enemy - the filthy rich).

When racism ends, the socio/economic class structure will collapse.

Don't run - Fight back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 06:13 PM

Hello. I'm just popping in to say that I appreciate the posts that have been added to this thread.

Maybe this is one of the answers to my question of what should people do who want to speak out about how they felt as a target of the racist comment-they could post on this thread...But then the trolls would come here too.

Maybe it is best not to say anything but then if a newcomer visits that thread would he or she understand what's going on and realize that Mudcatters chose this means to silence the offensive poster?

I also want to add what is probably a given-racism has negative consequences for both non-White and for White people.

Also it would be nice if there were more people of color posting here on Mudcat. But I'm not naive enough to believe that if there were another African American posting here [or two or three or more]we'd agree on most things just because we're part of the same race. But still I wish more African Americans and other people of color would come and stay and being active here.

PS: I have a very good friend who is quite ill so if I have to be away for a space, it's because of that.

Azizi


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 06:18 PM

ClintonHammond, re: your distaste for "I'm back" posts.

I thought mine was rather witty. Oh well, I tried.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 07:00 PM

Well, if I didn't get my consciousness jacked up growing up a mom who was not only a feminist but also an active civil rights advocate and activist then I sho nuff got the rest of the educvation when I went off to college and met alot of folks who were fightin' against all the "isms" but...

...with that said, yeah, over my life I confess to having become very leary of white guys...

(But, Bobert, you is a white guy???)

Well, okay, good point... But, unfortunately, this is my "ism confession" but ti ain't like I don't try to work on it... I mean, lets get real here... As "classless and free" as we may think we are, this is a very "ism-istic" world in which we live and the "ism's" are freely encopuraged and fostered thru all kinds of turmoil and events... Look at the recent cartoons of Mohammed, fir example...

So, it is my opinion that its better to have a discussion about the "isms" and they way theu are manipulated to keep folks divided (and conquered) than to ingore them...

Now, with that said, I think there has been way too much finger pointing here recently about anti-Semitism but that's only MO... If I felt that those discussions were anything other than one individual wanting persona; (as opposed to collective) attention I might have taken those threads more seriously...

Bill Clinton suggested that our nation oneeds to have a discussion on race and I couldn't agree more.... And we also need to talk about the way that minorities and women have been and continue to be discriminated against in education, employment, housing, etc., etc...

Yes, we do need to talm about these thing and we need to fix some stuff... It's one thing to say, "Hey, why should I be responsible for what my grand=daddy did?" but quite anjother to look at what *we* are doing under *our* watch... But we need to look at both...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: CarolC
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 07:07 PM

I haven't been around for a while myself (we just moved to another state and we don't have any internet access yet... right now, I'm sitting in a Taco Bell parking lot, mooching off their free wi-fi ;-) but I'm really glad you didn't leave permanently. I would have hated to come back after a long absence and found you gone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 07:17 PM

"Clinton, Mudcat's software can be set to block IPs, because mine have been blocked... However, it has never stopped me from posting, either as a guest or a member."

Then it doesn't work at all does it? The whole point of blocking an IP# is to keep a person from posting...

I suspect that if Mudcat wasn't running on the internet equivalent of bear-skins and stone tools, it would be up to this and other basic challenges....


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 07:41 PM

Their inability to block me isn't because of faulty software. It is because I know how to get around their IP blocking.

And it don't take a rocket scientist to figure it out either.

But then, there is an alarming shortage of rocket scientists here, so maybe that's why a luddite like myself can so easily get around the system and it's great warrior "defenders of the realm". Obviously, if they'd taken a peaceful, intelligent path rather than the warrior route, Mudcat wouldn't be the cesspool that it is today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Janie
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 07:46 PM

What happened was a 'Catter cut and pasted a very offensive racist joke. I'm sure he did it to get a rise a out of people. And to an extent he did, but not to a strong extent. If he had posted a hurtful joke about something that involved more 'Catters life experiences and traumatic cultural history, I think the rise would have been a bit more severe. Many of us didn't like it, but not having been on the receiving end of racism, we experienced it as an intellectual insult, not really taking it in emotionally or spiritually.

Azizi, that ugly post also came right in the middle of a number of threads dealing with trolls, polarization, name-calling, etc. And there may have been an element of people trying to remain civilized even if the member troll was not. I don't know.

I think the deletion of the thread was the right and effective action. The learning can happen right here in this thread and in others, without continuing to advertise such jokes.

Blessings and prayers for your friend, Azizi.

(((((((((((((((((((((HUG)))))))))))))))))) for you.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 08:02 PM

"why a luddite like myself can so easily get around the system"

I suspect you're right there

And if they'd get their shit together to actually be able to BLOCK IPs, Mudcat wouldn't be the cesspool....


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: hilda fish
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 08:05 PM

Azizi I'm back too but just for a min. I've already posted you about my anger re racism at another time and I just need to say a little more on this. It hurts it hurts it hurts. Sometimes I just have to grab my throat to stop the sob. Ultimately that's what it's about whether its print, internet, face to face, whatever. It breaks the heart. I find that there is a point where I have to withdraw I am so enraged. It's no good ignoring stuff in the hope it will go away. It doesn't as history shows. Confronting and challenging it wherever it pokes up, like ripping out a bad weed before it kills the garden when it's too late, is my answer. And by the way black is what we have all become who are not 'white' - many Indigenous people are neither 'black' nor 'white' in looks but are black in psychology and the impact historically and in the day to day of racist comments, attitudes etc. ultimately kill the hope of our children from the instant they are born. It's a bit of a platitude to say to develop a thick skin - my people have done that in order to survive and still it hurts. The 'thick skin' response is also a form of denial of racism and how it impacts on many people in this worl. Its not just that we get a bit sulky you know. It puts most of us on the bread line, homeless, uneducated, unemployed, dispossessed in more ways than can be said, dying horrible deaths. It's not afternoon tea. Racism is racism - it is not anything else. Anti-racism is not feminism - it is not communism, it is not left thought. It is something I demand or my fellow human beings make a stand on in order that we are not so continually demeaned as a group. See, here I go again!!! It rips my heart out and it makes me wild! I can never ignore it and I am embarrassing and obnoxious often enough in my attempts to grab it's head and rip it off. I stutter and stammer for words but I will not let anyone get away with it if I can help it. Thick skins I think we have a plenty wouldn't you agree Azizi? It's the heart that is always human. It breaks and breaks. Racism!! If I could just grab hold of it, take it to the river and drown it I would be a happy person. As a famous Oz once said, I luv yoos all, but not some.xx


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 08:13 PM

When I read your post, hilda fish, I can see that maybe standing up to those bad posts doesn't stop the racism-- or the trolling using racosm as the hook-- but it strengthens the ones who stand up and maybe the ones targeted. And that's a good thing just in itself.

Do you have a suggestion how people might respond in a way that would ease your heart when it happens here?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 08:16 PM

Well, well, well...

I never made it to the thread before it got deleted but now I find that the offense came from a cut 'n post??? Is that correct???

Well, it seesm that the cut 'n post has hit my usaul nerve... Why is it some folks come to this joint without one original thought in their mindless little heads and have to use cut 'n posts to say what they think they might mean, that is, if they could think...

I've made no bones about cut 'n pastes... They are cowardly and they speak more to the intellegence of the poster than anything the poster could do to say, "I'm a friggin' moron!!!"

Yeah, heck with GUEST's... Ban cut 'n paste!!!

Think about it... You get to obne and it's longer than the "Tropic of Cancer"... Like, did the poster read all that crap??? Well, heck no he or she didn't!!! But there it is right here in Mudville poluting our neigborhood... Hey, if someone wants to take out a few lines from the "Tropic of Cancer" length cut 'n paste, fine... Do it... At least this shows that the poster actually read the crap they want everyone else here to read...

But to just to post a "Tropic of Cancer" lenghth cut 'n post thinking that it "might" support their arguments because it came from this blog or that blog is intellectually dishonest...

So, IMHO, if we could have a better po0licy on the cut 'n post bandits we'd cut down on a lot of crap and probably a lot of the "ism" promotion here in Mudville...

(But, Bobert... They're gonna scream "censorship"...)

No, it ain't censorship of the poster... It juast keep them honest...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 08:21 PM

Bobert, it wasn't that long, and copy/paste wasn't the issue.

It was a racist 'joke'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: kendall
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 08:22 PM

Seems to me that as long as the clones are on the ball, there is no need to block anyone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 08:23 PM

I'll add my voice to Susan's, hilda fish and Azizi. In your
opinion(s) and experience, what is a/the good/proper way to respond to someone's viciousness in print? In person I don't have a problem expressing my distaste or outrage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 09:12 PM

Well... I am not asking Azizi or hilda fish to teach me THE way, or to speak for all people of color (not saying Ebbie said that either), but to tell me, as a person who wishes them well, what could be said that would help THEM, as the individuals they are.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 09:39 PM

" long as the clones are on the ball"

If someone shits on my floor over and over, I'm gonna kick them outa my house... not follow around behind them with a mop...


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 09:42 PM

But if you needed to be needed you would opt for the mop method?


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 09:45 PM

We [Hilda Fish and me] have shared that racism hurts. We respond to it in myrid ways depending on the circumstances and our mood and our resources.

What I [and maybe Hilda Fish] need to know and see is that somebody's got our back.

I'm glad to know through pms that so many here oppose racism. But when it rears its ugly head here, how do you oppose most of you oppose it? Does it hurt you to see it, read it, hear it? Do you experience it or do you say "Let's pretend there's no elephant in this room who had shat on the carpet and it stinks to high heaven".

Speaking of heaven, Jesus showed anger at the moneychangers in the temple. So why are so many of you so polite around garbage?

Though its not my nature to hurl profanity at those members and guests who believe it's acceptable to ridicule my ancestors and Hilda's and others, I have to say that at least I know those who attack those racists that way "get" that racism is wrong.

When I see an offensive comment that is followed by multiple posters talking around that post, I interpret that to me that this doesn't matter to you as much as it matters to the person who belong to the targeted group.

As I said earlier in this thread, I usually avoid the threads that I know [by title] are racist/offensive. But there have been times-like in that Hurricane Names thread, that I have been blindsided by unexpected racist posts. When that happens, I hope that somebody has my back [a street saying meaning "I hope that I have some support from another person or other people"]. If not, depending on my mood, the circumstances {i.e. the comment] and the presence or lack of resources {i.e. posters I know who will go to bat against the offending person] I may post a comment or I may pm Joe Offer or a Joe Clone, or I may close the thread and scream or cry.

That's what I would do. But this reminds me of my university days when I sometimes was the only Black person in classes. Invariable, the White teacher or my White classmates would say "What do you people want". AAAHHHH! That question can really gets to me.

Speaking of my university days, one of the comments that I made in the now deleted Hurricane Names thread was that I had wondered why African Americans and other people of color don't post on Mudcat. But the lack of response to that offensive cut & paste "joke" * by most of the posters to that thread, reminded me why people of color often self-segregate ourselves at universities and other places. Paraphrasing what Hilda Fish so eloquently wrote, after a point we get tired of the shit. We get tired of explaining our selves, our languaging, our music, etc etc etc. It is "hard work" living in a world that is generally hostile to you & your people. Sometimes we just want to get away from it all, relax, and forget about it ["it" being "racism"] As I put it in that deleted thread, when African Americans want to let our hair down, we don't want to have to answer any questions about why we use grease it our hair.

*That "joke" not only made fun of contemporary African American names but also threw in a reference to Black folks asking for government handouts as a result of Hurricane Katrina, making the "joke" even more offensive.

BTW2: One member PMed me and asked how I knew that there were only two Black people who are members of Mudcat. My response [which I may not have PMed back-sorry] was that when subjects like this come up and a person is Black, it's likely that they would respond in some way. And when matters of race, racism, Black slang, Black personal naming traditions, soul food, Black musical genres, Black Mardi Gras groups such as the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians, holidays such as Martin Luther King Jr Day, and Kwanzaa, and Black holiday customs such as eating black eyes peas and rice on New Years Eve, not to mention political news and castrophies that disproportionally impacted African Americans and other Black people, no other Black member or guest posts but Hilda Fish {from Australia} and me {from the USA}.

So that's my reason for saying that there's probably no other Black people on Mudcat but Hilda and me.

I just had to get this off my chest.

Do I feel better having said all this. No. Not really. In 2006 it's a low down cryin shame that it still has to be said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Janie
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 09:47 PM

I just reread Azizi's first post. The question asked was "Should people ignore offensive posts?"

I guess I think that it depends on the offense. Racism is not the same thing as conservatism, liberalism, socialism. I agree completely that racist posts should be deleted as soon as a clone detects or is told about them. Until that time, however, I think it is wrong to ignore them.

Racism is morally reprehensible. It is institutionalized in societies or in cultures, and so becomes pervasive, and lingers long after efforts are made to begin to change those institutions. To not confront racism within ourselves and when we observe racist acts in others is to let it stand. We can look at the brutality of slavery in the Americas, the death camps of the Nazis, the genocides in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Africa, the treatment of Native Americans in this country and know that racism is deadly. A liberal and a conservative slugging it out is a very different battle of isms than is racism.

People of conscience must always take a stand against racism.

IMHO

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 09:48 PM

"But if you needed to be needed"

I don't understand your point


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 09:51 PM

Lemme try that again:

"As I put it in that deleted thread, when African Americans want to let our hair down, we don't want to have to answer any questions about why we use grease in our hair".


I'm abandoning all the other typos in that last post. Poor babies, they will just have to fend for themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 09:53 PM

Some people need to feel like they are doing a good job. Even if that job doesn't actually need doing. Because as you pointed out there is a far more efficient way to clear up shit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: freda underhill
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 10:09 PM

I missed that other thread and post, Azizi, but am very glad you're back. I thought your opener on this thread was pretty wonderful. I've got a spare room upstairs until the middle of the year - if you want to come to Sydney, you have a place to stay, at least til the middle of the year. Hilda and I can take you round the traps!

x freda


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Cluin
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 10:42 PM

I saw where you posted a link to the lyrics to "Strange Fruit" in another thread, Azizi. Thanks. I hadn't heard that song before.

It reminded me vividly of a movie I watched on the History Channel last night, Rosewood, which was based closely on events in 1923 Florida. Very disturbing, sickening and eye-opening all at once. I thought, watching the women and children "escaping" on the rescue train, "But where the hell are they gonna go that's any safer for them?" It really brought home the realization that visible minorites still have to deal with that crap every minute of their lives. As you said, it's a crying shame.


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 11:24 PM

People say them Greyhound bus don't run
Yeah, people say them Greyhound bus don't run
Come to West Memphis, Arkansas
And look down Highway 61...

Yeah, lotta things that most folks don't know much about... Fred McDowell was saying just that in his song "61 Highway"... He was atlkin' 'bout folks in Memphis, Tennessee right over that steel bridge... Yeah, folks in Memphis to this day say stuff like, "I ain't been over on *that* side... Like *that* side was some kinda evil world... Yeah, them fine Mephis, Tennessee folk didn't know nuthin' much about West Memphis and they sho nuff didn't know much 'bout the lives of the black folk who lived from West Memphis south thru the Delta of Mississippi...

Same way today... I been thru neighborhoods in NE Wsahington D.C. maybe a hundred or more times on my way to play blues at an old barber shop way up in NE and these neighborhoods is like what Mississippi Fred McDowell was talkin' about... Lotta folks don't know what is really going down... And it ain't purdy... Makes you wanta scream sometimes to see folks who you know ain't got much chance to ever find their way here as MiziAzizi and Freda have an' makes you crazy that you just can't find the right magic wand to make all that stuff go away...

Yeah, come to West Memphis
Look down Highway 61...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 11:42 PM

"need to feel like they are doing a good job"

Gotcha...

But aren't these the same people who claim they want mudcat to be hands-off?


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: number 6
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 11:53 PM

"People of conscience must always take a stand against racism"

Easier said than done.

As Aziz said "It is "hard work" living in a world that is generally hostile to you & your people."

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: hilda fish
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 01:00 AM

I just can't see that there is a problem saying THAT IS OFFENSIVE - THAT IS RACIST - IT DEMEANS ME - IT DEMEANS YOU - IT DEMEANS WHAT IS HUMAN IN US ALL. IT IS NOT RIGHT. IT IS NOT SOMETHING I'M PREPARED TO LET GO BY UNCHALLENGED. IT IS CRUEL, DANGEROUS AND MURDEROUS AND IF I WAS IN YOUR FACE YOU'D CERTAINLY FEEL HOW I FEEL ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING. GET THIS INTO YOUR HEAD - RACISM IS AN INSULT. I AM CALLING YOU A RACIST. GO AWAY!!!!! To name it and attack it is a good start I think. A story - I was once at a pub with a friend. It was a social meeting between a big group of people of like mind. Various people were getting up to talk about things. It was all pretty progressive and 'good'. Then this guy got up and in response to an article in a newspaper stated that Aboriginal people were more aligned with animals than human - that white people were superior and it was time that Indigenous (Blak) people got the picture. And so on. Everyone listened politely while I started steaming. Oh dear I thought, waiting for my 'friends' to rip him to shreds one way or another. They didn't. There was a lot of polite discussion about how what he said was unacceptable. Un...f...acceptable! I was dying there by what he said and I was dying there because no-one (here you are Azizi) was watching my back. Here we go again I thought. I have to stand up and name this crap and condemn it because no-one else is gonna. They don't even see it. Or they believe in 'freedom of speech', 'politeness'. I thought for a minute and realised no-one was going to listen so I launched myself out of my chair and gave him a mighty smack in the mouth. Everyone grabbed me but I did get a good kick in.    I was hauled out of the pub and banned. Well. I was shaking and in a shocking way but I felt good - not belittled or victimised - but good. Now those who know me know that I am pretty mouthy sometimes but not violent. The worst I mostly do is getting into a swearing frenzy and walk away but truly, mostly I am polite, ladylike, blah blah blah. Some Koories in the front bar came out and sat with me. We sat together and then various people including my friends came out and condemned me at first for being 'violent'. We talked and basically I said they were gutless for not naming and challenging it - they said they had left that to me. Why me? They saw it too. Why always us to deal with this stuff? Everyone knows about the lynchings and the shootings and all the terrible stuff that is given permission through racist words and racist deeds. Sometimes I am beyond words as my people are sometimes so beyond words that all we can do is scream, go mad, and yes, smack someone in the mouth. The guy said he'd never speak like that again in front of me if that is the result. What did I care what the racist creep thought. He hadn't cared about me or my blood. All I can say is name it, challenge it, reject it in all its forms. Its not a polite discussion you know. Good phrase Azizi - "need to know and see is that somebody's got our back". I'd like to rely on that as one human being to another. Life has shown that I can't - yet. And yeah, come to Sydney Azizi and stay with me or Freda. You can see how Australia practises its racism!! There are many forms (just joking heh heh). Oh, the first time I heard "Strange Fruit" was in Melbourne at a folk club such a long time ago. Everyone thought it was a terrific song - I was the only Aboriginal there and I cried and cried and cried once I got what it was about. Everyone thought I was drunk!! How awful and sad is that song? What can I say? Rest in peace all my brothers and sisters on this planet who no longer walk the earth because someone did not like your skin. I honor your short lives and your suffering and will not forgive so easily and well not let racism have a healthy life wherever I meet it. Rest in peace. That's the bottom line isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Responses To Racism
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 01:33 AM

No Clinton they're the ones who have the keys to the mop cupboard. If there wasn't a mop cupboard they wouldn't be needed.


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