Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people.
Yesterday morning, thechocolatedandy tried to open a dialogue about race on Cracked.com. In his words, this is what transpired:
“Cracked.com recently posted an article called, “3 Racist Incidents That Weren’t Really Racist”. You can google it, but I also reblogged it from Cracked’s Tumblr Page. It was a post about how basically three specific events were misconstrued as racist (using the word niggardly, naming a metro line that went through the local Asian district as the yellow line, and referring to a section of a department with a majority Black staff as “A Black Hole”).
Most of the comments were a mine-field for PoC and try as I might to get through to some people, it wasn’t working. So I created a page in their forums dedicated to discussing racism and what actually constitutes it.
I posted it in a particularly heavily moderated section of their forums, hoping to keep the page from turning into an instant flame war, I titled it “Explaining Racism In Hopefully The Least Inflammatory Way Possible”, and wore the softest kid gloves imaginable when explaining the various aspects of racism and the necessary vocab for a basic discussion.
Fifteen minutes later, the thread was locked and when I inquired as to why, I was told that my post “isn’t the kind thing we do or need in here”. I pressed the issue, I was told that there were other threads that I could join to discuss the topic. (note: at the point of this discussion, the post showed that 93 people read the post even though it was locked. Thechocolatedandy felt that this proved that people were interested in the topic and would have liked to have a conversation. At the time this post is being set up to queue, 255 people have read his Cracked.com post.)
I looked, the most recent thread dedicated to the subject was made in February.
When I further expressed my issues with the handling of my post, I was told by Cracked’s Senior Editor that the matter was settled and that I shouldn’t post anything for a few months.
Here is the list of rules for the particular section I posted the topic in. My post violated none of those rules.
And here’s my discussion with the moderators about my post and why it was locked.
I was effectively silenced on the basis that I was “lecturing”. When I pushed the issue, I was basically told to stop pressing or be banned.
Like, they didn’t even say, “read up and come back,” they said: “DON’T POST ANYTHING FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS, look through the forums etc,”.
I don’t need someone to explain to me how a forum works. I’ve been reading Cracked’s articles for years now, I’ve been a part of forums and image boards for longer. I know what the hell I am doing and how to handle a conversation.
Now I decided to look through their archives and noticed that their last serious post on racism was nearly 8 years ago.
And it was started by Mr. Wong himself but since then the topic hasn’t been brought up by itself.
As you can see, thechocolatedandy did not violate any of Cracked.com’s forum rules. There doesn’t seem to be a consensus on exactly what he did wrong, what he could have done to fix any errors they perceived or even an open dialogue as to what the problem was in the first place. Let’s tell Mr. Wong how we feel about this kind of selective discrimination. If you have a Cracked.com account, you can send Mr. Wong a message directly. If you do not, you can send an ask to their Tumblr page. We may not be able to get them to unlock the post but perhaps we can get a real answer as to why it was locked in the first place.