Question: Why is casual racism allowed in the JC?

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Lord Vivec, Feb 6, 2011.

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  1. darth_boy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2001
    star 7
    Change the setting to 1935 Germany (not the JC) and chance the word Gypsy to Jew. Would you guys still be so lenient about it?

    JC double standards. I have been abused racially here several times, and nothing has ever been done about it.
  2. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Gypsies were well-hated in Nazi Germany, so you don't even have to change the word.
  3. Katya Jade Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 7
    Well, if we take the opening post of the gypsy thread and replace references of gypsy to 'black', 'jew', 'chinese', it's still not necessarily an editible or lockable thread. Do I feel the statement is a generalization? Yes. Is it the same as making racially derogative statements or insults? No. Honestly, both of those threads have some good discussion going. It's the random comments (Darth Guy's "I live by some coloreds and illegals!") that seem more offensive than the actual content. I know those are meant to drive home a point, but I'd be more willing to edit out those statements than the honest viewpoints given. In my opinion it's not too far off some of the religious slamming that goes on here all the time. If we're going to edit and lock a thread like the gypsy thread then why shouldn't we edit and lock threads disagreeing/discussion gay marriage, Christianity, abortion, etc?

    There's a point at which we should be able to have open and frank discussions without having to slam either side for their opinions.
  4. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    There's a difference between:

    A) "Christianity is stupid... I do not agree with it, at all."

    and

    B) "Decent people do not believe in Christianity... but Christians do."

    (Substitute Black people, Jewish people, Gypsies, Buddhism / Buddhists, etc in for Christianity... I probably don't need this disclaimer, but I'll post it anyway... the post above does not reflect my personal view on anything... it is an example)
  5. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    1. Legit criticism of a religious persuasion is different. Criticizing the Catholic Church's stance on birth control is fine. Saying, "I ain't votin' for no dirty Papist. We should round them up and toss 'em into the ocean!" is not.

    2. Christians are the dominant majority in every country from which the vast majority of JC'ers hail. Yes, it is very different to be prejudiced against and criticize the majority than a (recently) persecuted and Holocaust-victim minority.

    3. There is no such thing as legit criticism aimed at an ethnicity. Speaking of which, Mexicans are pretty lazy.

    4. Why should we foster hateful opinions here? The JC is not the United States government. As someone pointed out earlier, we restrict the used of much less offensive curse words.

    EDIT: Has anyone read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? Really shocking stuff. Reveals just what the Jews are up to.
  6. darth_boy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2001
    star 7
    Seems like a big cop out. But darth guy had most of it covered.

    I really don't buy that if the thread was about black people it would be taken the same way.

    Can I ask where this stance was in the past when mods were trigger happy to ban people on a whim for lesser stuff than this?

    Knocking somebodies politics is completely different to the race they were born into.
  7. Katya Jade Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 7
    I wasn't copping out. There have been many, many other 'controversial' threads and posts in the past and I've probably given a similar answer. I don't like shutting down a thread because it 'could be taken wrong'. Sometimes there aren't black and white (no pun intended) issues with these things. I can remember a huge debate about someone posting a picture of Mormon underwear. It was just the picture, no offensive comment, nothing. Yet people wanted it yanked. In a similar way, mar posted her opinions of the people where she lives. I don't live there so I can give no insight into the situation other than reading what she's posting. She gave her observations and opinions. That's not lock worthy. It may not be popular and it's obviously stirred people up, but I don't see it as something that needs to be removed.

    I don't see it as it being a 'hateful opinion' just as I shouldn't see it as a hateful opinion when someone posts that they think another user is an uneducated moron for thinking the Earth is 10,000 years old. Yes, there's generalizing a group of people but there's also people here who still make jokes based on those generalizations. You can't have it both ways. Either we eliminate everything that might be offensive - race, religion, physical disabilities - or we don't.
  8. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Kate, read this and tell me it's not a racially derogative statement.
    Still think it's not?
    So racist comments are okay as long as their honest. Got it.
    Religion and politics are ideology/opinion and are perfectly open to being slammed. Race and ethnicity aren't.
  9. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    Also, I don't think anybody is asking you to lock threads... that's just lazy modding. I think people are more concerned with individual posts.
  10. Katya Jade Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 7
    I'd prefer to moderate at the post level. I honestly didn't see anything major that should have been edited. Now, I'll own the fact that I've seen the other mods in there so I didn't probably scan every post as closely as I could have because of my personal schedule over the last week. I'm simply saying that while I completely understand the concern about the thread, I've seen other threads in the past that have been equally as controversial that have been left open and modded at the post level.

    If we're talking about 'casual racism', there are many other instances that have been posted over the years that have been left because they were 'funny'. No one complained when it was being done in jest but when someone posts comments like in the gypsy thread, it's an issue. Therein lies the double standard. People want to joke about the disabled and it's okay to throw out the Colt 45 jokes but when a thread pops up that could be used to enlighten and educate, that's seen as the mods allowing racism in the forum.

    I'm not trying to say there shouldn't be a concern with the statements being posted in that thread (or others). What I'm more concerned about is that we can't have it both ways - either we eliminate racially charged posts that may include jokes or anything possibly offensive - or we take it on a case by case basis.
  11. firesaber Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2006
    star 3
    Thus you have a major part of the problem. Mod, or don't Mod. There is no try. Let us not however try to weave a tapestry of excuses as to why something wasn't moderated and lets say these things for what they are. Either laziness, a lack of concern or probably more to the point, it didn't offend YOU (I'm not referring to you as individual, merely a figure of speech) so therefore its not a problem.

    I've pointed this out before and I'll gladly do so again. Things get picked and chosen based on the whims of the wind here on what gets enforced and what does not and when things are not enforced those who did not enforce something will write ad nauseum about why they didn't. More than once we have seen guidance from Mods about this being a family board or that young SW fans come here and we should watch this or that, but by all means lets label an entire race (except for the 15% of decent folk, clearly arrived at by some sort of scientific polling we were not privy to) and it's completely acceptable.
  12. Darth_Tarkus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2011
    star 4
    I back this post 100%.

    This is surprising and very sad to hear.

    Yup. Gypsy babies don't choose to be born Gypsy babies.

    I personally think if the choice is allowing both or not allowing either, the latter option is preferable.
  13. GrandAdmiralJello Community and Lit moderator person

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    I think serious discussion has a certain level of protections that wouldn't be tolerated in a more casual context. If someone were just shooting out stereotypes right and left, I would edit it for several reasons, many of which fall under standard board rules regarding flames and/or baits: they'd just be racially motivated versions of the same. I would not have edited the posts in the thread because the thread in question was specifically designed to confront the point of view in question, and because those views were being engaged on a relatively productive level. Slurs were not being employed and the points of view, though repugnant to polite society, were being challenged in an attempt to change and/or correct the user's perspective (some of them were; others seemed content to label it racism and leave it at that, and the two strategies were, in fact, debated in that very thread).

    We've had discussions about illegal immigrants and labor. We've had discussions about Muslims and terrorism where users persisted in saying that the two were innately related. We've had discussions about welfare and certain ethnic groups. It is my view that the JC is a mature enough place to handle and engage erroneous and/or offensive points of view, and the caliber of our users--combined with the strength of our community--is such that people's points of views can be changed. I've seen it happen.

    Am I wrong?
  14. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    Well, you somehow managed to become a dope smoking liberal, so... :p
  15. DarthTunick SfC Commish on an "All-Star" break

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 10

    No, you are not.

    They beat Boston!: 2009-2010 L.A. Lakers: Back-to-Back World Champions :cool:
  16. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    1)False dichotomy
    2) It's the serious posts that have me worried, not the jokes. The jokes are negligible and almost a non-issue. They've been only done is response to actual racist comments to showcase how ridiculous racist comments are. Getting rid of them while leaving actual racist comments unedited, something you mentioned you wanted to do earlier in this thread, would be doing people a disservice.
    3) I never said anything about not doing case by case (though it should be mentioned that even in a case by case system, there is an underlying line). Even under a case by case basis, the post I quoted of Mar17swgirl should be considered a violation of the TOS. At least.




    Guys, I think we need to get one thing straight. Racist comments aren't "bad" because they offend somebody or hurt someone's feelings. That's a byproduct. They're bad because they unfairly dehumanize the target by dehumanizing their entire race/ethnicity. They don't "offend" the target, they genuinely hurt them. The difference here is the dehumanization. When you know someone is making a comment about your race and MEANS EVERY LAST WORD, that hurts. "Users are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which is respectful to themselves and fellow users at all times." That's what the TOS says. You don't respect yourself when you make a racist comment and you don't respect the basic dignity of another.

    Kate, offending someone by calling out a stupid opinion or ideology is not the same. We can separately discuss how to treat people's opinions, but it's ridiculous to think that meanly calling out an opinion is the same thing as racism or needs to be discussed at the same time. We need to not be creating a policy based on what's offending who, but whether we're dehumanizing a person or not.
  17. Dingo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2001
    star 5
    Replace race with sexuality. We have left comments alone of a nature that are 'as bad or worse' than that which is being claimed here on that subject, and I personally have little issue with that. I might not like those comments, but people have a right to say something that is within the bounds of the rules of these forums whether we agree with them or not.

    Also, the specific guideline in the TOS you have quoted is not a hard and fast rule. It is a guideline. If it wasn't, we would be handing out bans left, right and centre. You yourself Vivec manage to in a lot of cases show a complete disrespect to some users, but in doing so remain inside the rules of the forums posted in (for the most part). Many users manage this and as long as a person is not flaming or baiting and conducting themselves in an appropriate manner they are entitled to post their opinion and viewpoint no matter how repugnant another may find it.
  18. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    QFT.
  19. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    I never said not to include sexuality.
    Well excuse me, but where have i dehumanized someone and not been edited? When have I dehumanized someone about their race? Please look again at my last post and see how I'm talking about dehumanizing someone and not about simply offending them.
  20. Dingo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2001
    star 5
    As facetious as this sounds, 'dehumanising' someone on its own isn't against the rules. And you were talking specifically about the line in the TOS that talks about respecting other users, and again that isn't against the rules of these forums.

    Yes, racism is bad. Yes, we should try and dispell it when we can. But we are not the thought/opinion police and as long as someone can remain within the rules of these forums with their posts, then they get the chance to say what they like.
  21. GrandAdmiralJello Community and Lit moderator person

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    We don't censor people for their opinions. We do so only when they break the forum rules, which includes but is not limited to behavior that's illegal and/or a flagrant attack on users. Racism can belong to that latter group--but not always, especially in the contrast of a free and frank discussion. Everyone is free to contest a person's opinions on similar grounds: recall that many people used the racist label in that thread, an action which could itself be subject to editing had it occured in a different context but was fairly employed and grounded in a discussion.
  22. Bacon164 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
    star 7
    Instead of debating and attempting to alter a poster's offensive point of view through meaningful discourse, let's just scratch it and out and pretend it doesn't exist. That'll make everything better.
  23. Katya Jade Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 7
    Like Dingo said, 'dehumanizing' someone (or a group of people) isn't necessarily against the rules here. Posting something that's rude, insensitive and ignorant is just that sometimes. Other times, like DG's great example in the JCC today, a thread deliberately incites other users and puts them on the defensive with an extreme point of view.
  24. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    Well, to be fair (if you can call it that), the people who reacted, have aspergers (or some sort of autism spectrum disorder). So, if a Roma user got upset by ignorant comments, the ignorant posts would have been edited / the thread locked, etc?

    So, and I'm not trying to be a pain in the ass here, as long as we are bad mouthing cultures, races, ethnic groups who are not in a majority here, it's okay?

    This is making less and less sense.

    Define 'extreme.' I'd say that somebody who states that 85% of an ethnic group are not "decent people" is pretty extreme... but I dunno. What's your definition of extreme?
  25. GrandAdmiralJello Community and Lit moderator person

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    I don't care who was offended by what, or what proportions they reside in the userbase. If Darth_Guy's thread had been about eskimos, I'd have still locked it. It was intended to inflame.

    We don't need to go through a song and dance here. The standard rules apply, people.

    edit: By the way, though, harpuah--what's your thought about opening up Comms for a discussion and peer review of your posts and whether or not they meet the TOS? Just curious. I think we're losing sight of what this thread's turned into. We really should not be discussing the specific actions of specific users in specific threads.
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