The Ethics of Comment Moderation

Some people argue that bloggers have a responsibility to moderate hateful comments, but this abstraction often assumes that the blogger is an able-bodied, middle-to-upper-class, heterosexual, white, cis man who is not the target of the hateful comments. If the blogger is from a marginalized group, is she responsible for protecting her readers from hateful comments directed at her or her group?

When readers ask the blogger to moderate hateful comments, there seems to be an unquestioned assumption that if the hateful comments or trolls are not publicly visible, then these comments and trolls have ‘disappeared’. However, what usually happens for most blog setups is that the hateful comments go straight into the blogger’s Inbox and need to be processed along with other e-mails.

Comment moderation requires time and energy. When I have to read hateful comments closely to press the appropriate moderation button, it is more unpleasant and time-wasting than when I skim and mentally skip hateful comments.

Moreover, banning trolls often has the effect of increasing their bigotry and directing bigoted (e.g., racist, sexist) personal attacks towards the blogger herself. For example, the only commenter I have banned so far goes by the name of “goaler”, “Anonymous”, “brett weir”, or “jerky boy”, a White Canadian man living in Metropolitan Toronto, which is where I live as well. Before I banned him, he at least tried to pretend he wasn’t racist. Now that he is silenced on my blog, I get racist comments in my Inbox calling me a “racist chink”; other comments with the words “chink”, “sp**k”, and “sp*c”; and shameless declarations that white people are superior to people of other races. This White Canadian man also appears to have a predilection for fellatio, and said, more than once, that he would perform sexual acts upon me.

(Dear Journalists: This is why bloggers from marginalized groups want to use pseudonyms. If I blogged under my real name, I would probably quit blogging by now.)

Comment moderation is not wrong in all contexts. The comment moderation at Racialicious makes Racialicious a diverse community of voices from people of colour instead of just the voices of the bloggers of colour against white detractors in the comments. However, comment moderation is not appropriate in all contexts, either.

An alternative to standard comment moderation is to crowdsource comment moderation, which was first invented or popularized by Slashdot in 1999 at the latest. Crowsourced comment moderation requires less work for site administrators, and is common on technology news sites like Slashdot, Reddit, Digg, and Hacker News. However, crowdsourced moderation tends to reflect the culture of the site’s readers (i.e., groupthink), and tech news readers tend to boost the signals of sexist or misogynist comments.

Can comment moderation co-exist with the discouragement of groupthink? On blogs by members of marginalized groups, can bigoted comments be dampened without requiring the time, effort, and emotional resiliency of the blogger? What alternative comment moderation systems can you think of, assuming that you had the technology?

(The banned troll may contribute in the comments of this post.)


Creative Commons image by Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team.

75 Responses to “The Ethics of Comment Moderation”

  1. Lisa Harney Says:

    I’ve gone around and around on this for QT. Right now I do take the time to filter out comment that I do not want on my blog. This often does prompt a heightened response from those I moderate – I had one commenter completely lose his temper at me for freezing comments on a discussion because of the sheer amount of misinformation and concern-trolling. And I had to actively moderate my post about Penny Arcade because I was expecting (and received) several angry gamer men who wanted to instruct me in how rape culture isn’t real.

    As far as it goes, I have really worried about groupthink as well. And I mean, I don’t want to moderate disagreement (and I think I have avoided it, but sometimes that disagreement comes filled with certain other issues. I don’t think I can allow, for example, misgendering comments on my blog. And I have a pretty hard line against bigoted commentary in general. I sometimes let things stand to make a point that they’re not welcome. But it does take energy, and I have at times not even wanted to look at QT to deal with the comments on particular posts (this was last year), and even considered closing the blog because of the culture that had developed among some of the commenters.

    I don’t know, I don’t have answers to your questions. I handle comments differently from you, and I think it works for me, but you are correct about what that moderation prompts. And it does have an emotional cost to me that I don’t take into as much consideration as I could.

  2. Noel Says:

    I like that you are allowing the banned troll to comment here. I wonder whether he will.

  3. AfroCan Says:

    Restructure,

    I praise all of your courageous efforts in creating this blog! I welcome the work you do.

    It’s critical for People of Colour to have a (relatively) safe space to voice and dialogue on the issues of race, privilege and other intersecting social oppressions. One of our great frustrations is not having a forum or platform to voice any of these concerns/alternative perspectives in the mainstream media.

    I was beginning to despair that many dialogues were turning increasingly hostile, with racist and personal attacks/name calling from bloggers who actually feel they have a “right” and “entitlement” to disrupt anti-racist dissent and resistance—-yet another demonstration of psychological privileges and “terror” dominant Whites wield over people of colour.

    I agree with you that there is heavy and unnecessary time investment in trying to moderate discussions, lest White privileged trolls turn on you with false accusations of “censorship” in “silencing” their uncritical comments. Well, maybe now they can at last “empathize” with the POC experience of being marginalized and silenced in Canada’s institutional spaces.

    With this in mind, I actually think it’s important for the more critically thinking and empathetic bloggers to see and read the discourses of denial—-exactly what people of colour mean by “racism” and White domination.

    The rhetoric of White racial resentment, all its trajectories need to come to the surface and exposed for what they are. I actually find it intriguing to see the rhetorical strategies that certain bloggers/trolls mobilize in formulating their arguments of assault. The use of false / apples & oranges analogies, “common sense” and colorblind ideology, entitlement, reverse victimization, minimization/discounting, the deflection of questions, calling racism/privilege something else, a lack of empathy, etc. are among the many discursive patterns I have identified.

    At the heart of many rebuttals disputing the existence of White male privilege/domination, is the “blind spot” of perception, where the White privileged naysayers can recognize only their own oppression in a refusal to recognize intersectionality, an inability to see across and evaluate social categories/ oppressions of gender, sexuality, class, and ability. They also fail to see they ways in which their very language/rhetoric is actually exposing the deep rooted White domination, arrogance and contempt POCs are trying to identify and dismantle. They are providing the EVIDENCE of racism in Canada’s so-called multicultural egalitarian society.

    So, don’t bother your head about the ethics of “moderating” anymore…You are doing the serious anti-racist thinkers and activists a huge favour…I have been tremendously enlightened from surfing your website.

    Keep up the great anti-oppression work!

  4. jonpincus Says:

    An excellent conversation to have … very good point about how most of the discussions come from privileged perspectives and ignore the additional challenges when a blogger is coming from a marginalized group — and ignore the emotional and time cost on the blogger.

    I don’t think there’s any one right answer here. There’s a lot of value in “safe spaces”, but that doesn’t mean every blog needs to be a safe space. Some people will be driven away by interminable arguments, repeated trolling, or hate speech … but as you say there’s huge time and energy costs for trying to prevent that, and the risk of stifling dissent. Different blogs — and different threads withing blogs — come to different answers.

    I don’t see it as an ethical issue either way, just a (difficult) choice for bloggers to make. I think the key is finding something that’s sustainable and keeps you from getting burned out emotionally. One tactic that I’ve seen work for some people is getting help from others with front-line moderation and email filtering, which can shield you from a lot of the nastiest stuff.

    And echoing AfroCan’s praise: you do amazing work here. The balance you’ve currently struck works well; if you shift to a different policy, I’m sure that’ll work well too.

    jon

  5. jerky boy Says:

    you are the most racist!
    you stir up shit when there is no cause!
    you are the one that hates, whites!
    you are one sided!
    you suck!
    GO LEAFS GO!

  6. jerky boy Says:

    and thanks restructure for letting me back on OUR blog,
    we the nice WHITE FOLKS need sticking up for also!

  7. michaeleriksson Says:

    Thank you for this a very interesting angle on a question that has long interested me from the other direction, namely the risk of limiting freedom and expression of opinion. (Search my blog for e.g. “censorship” if you are interested.)

    A notable problem is that there are bloggers who react not only to the likes of “jerky boy”, but to attempts at factual discussion or the expression of a legitimate dissent, with censorship, outrageous and illegitimate personal attacks, or similar.

    Looking at AfroCan’s comment (the reason that my own comment is longer than one paragraph), it raises some good arguments on the surface; however, these arguments are often abused to the point of the ridiculous. (In particular, in the area of radical-femist blogging where I have seen most examples of “evil” moderation.) Some of the “power” rethoric is recognizable too, and while I cannot speak for the situation of blacks in Canada, I find it highly off-putting when e.g. Swedish women (one of the most privileged groups in the world—more so than Swedish men) complain about the “power” that the evil male “Patriarchy” exerts over them and how opprossed they are. Similarly, in Sweden, I have often seen merely raising the question of limiting immigration rates (which many criticize simply because they consider them to be too generous for the economy/society too sustain at the moment) result in accusations of xenophobia and racism—the criteria used for outright deletion, in turn, are often so harsh that a true discussion of pros-and-cons is made impossible.

    Looking e.g. at the argument “It’s critical for X to have a (relatively) safe space to voice and dialogue on the issues of Y.”: On feminist blogs this usually plays out so that a post is made with some faulty or one-sided statements, an innocent male by-passer makes an equally innocent (and well-meaning) comment, trying to point to an error of reasoning or fact or to explaining another perspective of the issue—and all hell brakes lose. A-not-uncommon reaction is to make claims which amount to “How dare a man comment on a feminist blog! We need our time alone to discuss feminism and he should have known better than that!” (despite there being no a priori warning that men are not welcome, leading me to suspect some deliberate or unconscious form of baiting, and despite lack of alternate view points being one of the most dangerous things there is). Another common problem is an assumption of guilt combined with an extreme distortion of the commenters intents and actual statements.
    (A discussion of an example.)

    (I stress that I discuss legitimate, polite, factual, and non-trolling comments above—which are treated in an entirely outrageous manner on some blogs, based on mere dissent from the blog owner’s opinion. Notably, there are biased and bigotted idiots on all sides of a discussion—and some of them are blog owners moderating their own blogs… The issue of actual trolls and whatnots is a very different story.)

  8. michaeleriksson Says:

    The link I gave appears to be broken: http://michaeleriksson.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/unfair-argumentation-methods-iii-intermezzo-on-rape-debates/

  9. Restructure! Says:

    michaeleriksson,

    I do not agree with your specific examples, but I don’t want to debate them with you, because I find them wrong in so many different ways that I would have to write a multi-page essay addressing them, and there is no reason for me spend time writing a personalized essay just for you over other people, such as “jerky boy” or fred.

    (I stress that I discuss legitimate, polite, factual, and non-trolling comments above—which are treated in an entirely outrageous manner on some blogs, based on mere dissent from the blog owner’s opinion. Notably, there are biased and bigotted idiots on all sides of a discussion—and some of them are blog owners moderating their own blogs… The issue of actual trolls and whatnots is a very different story.)

    Trolling is relative, though. I have found that I’ve been considered a troll for pointing out racism among progressive folk, and for a blog, I was called a “concern troll” because I accused a white person for doing something racist, because the white person had good intentions and was trying to do anti-racist work. My comments were censored/moderated as well, and I found the white person’s censoring was an example of some of what I was talking about (dismissing the voices of people of colour), and when I tried to bring attention to that, it was seen as a personal attack.

    People like jerky boy really do think that he is being oppressed by being moderated/censored, which is why he lashed out with racist and sexist personal attacks. jerky boy probably doesn’t see himself as racist, but he sees me as the one who is a “racist chink”.

    Now a blogger of colour being called a “chink” by a white person is not the same as a white blogger being called a “gatekeeper” by a person of colour, even though both bloggers believe these to be ad hominem attacks. However, the point still stands that trolling is in the eye of the beholder.

    If I went to a right-wing conservative blog and espoused some of my radical left opinions, they would think I was trolling as well, since it’s hard for them to think that people could really have such beliefs.

  10. michaeleriksson Says:

    @restructure

    While you are obviously free not to discuss an issue you do not wish to discuss, you must realize that if you make claims like “I find them wrong in so many different ways that I would have to write a multi-page essay addressing them” without providing arguments or examples then others will not pay much attention to your opinion.

    Your statement “My comments were censored/moderated as well, and I found the white person’s censoring was an example of some of what I was talking about (dismissing the voices of people of colour), and when I tried to bring attention to that, it was seen as a personal attack.” , BTW, appears to be an example of the type of misguided censoring I address. (I write “appears” because I lack the details of the case.) Note that my issue is one of how comments are moderated in general. The fact that Swedish self-proclaimed anti-racists tend to be among the greatest sinners, and therefore often occur in my writings on the topic, should not be interpreted as my taking a stand on racism vs anti-racism or making a moral ranking of the methods used by the two camps: My issue here is fair debate, intellectual honesty, and freedom of speech.

    Looking at the issue of trolling: Trolling is a deliberate act of provocation measured by the objective intent of the troll. What lies in the eye of the beholder is the (possibly faulty) interpretation. The latter, I fully agree, can be a problem, but my use above is directed at the proper sense of someone who deliberately disturbs a discussion. (By analogy, whether someone is a criminal is determined by whether he has commited a crime or not. Whether someone is convicted for a crime merely affects the perception of the public/the justice system—not the actual facts at hand.)

    In a second step, obviously, the risk of misinterpretation is yet another reason to err on the side of permissiveness when moderating—that, however, moves beyond the topic of my first comment.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    restructure is all right!

  12. Flaw In The System Says:

    Arguing with a radical opinion does not a concern troll make.
    But concern trolls certainly make use of such opinions. Things aren’t quite so clear on the internet.

  13. AfroCan Says:

    Some very interesting debates developing here…

    “Michaeleriksson” made an interesting point about male exclusion being from feminist blog discussions.

    I too once felt the sting of exclusion from a feminist space and was offended because without even voicing anything, my mere bodily presence at a feminist forum appeared to be a concern for some participants and I was asked to leave.

    I was furious and immediately what came into my mind was that I wanted nothing more to do with those “bxtchy” “nxt-crxcking feminists.

    I felt, can’t they see that I am one of the more empathetic males wanting to learn and become an ally…? Can’t they see that men are part of the solution as well as the problem…Why do they exclude some men in such hostile ways, if they want us to understand women’s issues and move to change?

    But I eventually got over my hurt feelings and am still a male feminist committing myself to anti-racist feminist thought, through READING feminist works and BECOMING an ally wherever I can and am welcomed. It means some humility on my part, and learning to speak when women ask me to intervene.

    As for this critical anti-racist blog, I think Restructure WELCOMES the input of Whites, but only those who are going to be empathetic and truly committed in educating themselves in Anti-racist principles and practice.

    We do not want to exclude critically conscious Whites who can perhaps take the issues and perspectives here to educate others within their social group. We recognize that Whites are not just part of the problem but also part of the solution in ending racial and gender inequality, dismantling White privilege and domination.

    Therefore, at some level we have to engage Whites, bringing them into the fold.

    However, we also want Whites to come with an OPEN MIND, to ask thoughtful questions and create meaningful dialogue. It doesn’t mean that Whites have to agree with everything said. White bloggers can still have their opinions and experiences…but what is definitely unwelcome, as I see it, is the attempt by some bloggers to COLONIZE the discussion with more racist hate language and rhetorical claims of reverse victimization because people of colour wish to deconstruct social issues and to educate others with experience and information sharing.

    Many of the uncritical bloggers are mobilizing false rhetorical “freedom of speech” and “censorship” claims to subvert discussion, not recognizing that these practices are in part what racism, privilege and White domination are all about to begin with. Afro-American slaves and European colonized peoples were similarly under surveillance, jailed / executed for very much the same reasons—-trying to unit, mobilize and unpack their oppression through shared experience.

    Another curious I discourse I see going on in these blogs, is calling POCs racist—an utterly absurd rebuttal. Granted—some POCs can be “prejudiced” but not “racist”. Usually those prejudices of anti-White feelings emerge out of years of negative experiences and personal rejection from the White world. Do Whites actually expect wounded POCs to love unconditionally their oppressors after such psychic abuse…? Always remember POCs have no power whatsoever to ACT on their individual prejudices. Only if POCs have the POWER to draft exclusionary legislation, systematically round up White folks to consign them to apartheid living conditions, enslavement or mass genocide, and only then can Whites truthfully label us “racist”. We have never had that power historically or in the continuum.

    I question, if some White bloggers don’t like what we are discussing, why not ask QUESTIONS rather than mobilizing hate speech, contradictory denials, and blaming-the-victim discourse to “win” the argument. This kind of arrogance alienates POCs from ever wanting to engage Whites. Why do these people feel a need to colonize and “take over” here…I personally would have no desire as Black male to intervene or attempt to take over at a KKK or Neo-Nazi rally, knowing that my perspectives on anything would be unwelcome and wouldn’t intervene on their ideology.

    To sum up, what people of colour are demanding, is to come with an open mind to different perspectives and to stop the personal attacks and naming calling—-you only expose your own hate and contempt that POCs have said exists all along….

    White are part of the racial healing and equality solution that we seek, if only you would take the cotton balls out the ears and blinkers off the eyes….

    Listen to what we have to say….

  14. jonpincus Says:

    Back in 2008 we had a panel and a workshop at Computers, Freedom, and Privacy on hate speech, trolls, and other issues. I put together a pretty detailed bibliography and tried to include diverse perspectives. There are also links to various comment policies and discussions.

    http://cfp.wikia.com/wiki/Dealing_with_hate_speech%2C_flaming%2C_and_trolls

  15. Restructure! Says:

    jon,

    Wow, at first I thought there was actually a panel with all those great bloggers in the same room, and I felt bad for having missed this and not knowing this happened. But I guess those bloggers were just the bibliography?

    Great bibliography!

  16. Anonymous Says:

    restructure is aces!!!!
    love ya!

  17. Restructure! Says:

    Oh Anonymous/goaler/jerky boy/brett weir. You are misrepresenting yourself. Here is a formerly-unpublished quote from you to balance it out (under “jerky boy”):

    all i know is when my kid was in the hospital i had to go into a ward with all kinds of babies.
    fuck me those minority kids were hard to look at.
    the packies were full of hair all over their bodies.
    the chinks had pointed heads.
    and the blacks didnt even look real.
    then i came across the golden child, blond hair blue eyes.
    what a relief.
    get the fuck back to youre own countries if you heat us so much restructure, you dont belong here and never will!

  18. jonpincus Says:

    glad you like it! yes this was just the bibliography … if only we could have gotten even a small fraction of those folks together …

    There were actually two sessions. One was a panel with Ann Bartow of Feminist Law Professors and Elizabeth Englander of Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center. I wound up filling in as moderator when Jennifer Urban couldn’t make it. Ann talked about her experiences moderating, including reading some of the hate mail she got — people were visibly shocked. If I recall correctly she also proposed a legal approach to limiting hate speech. Elizabeth talked about cyberbullying and had excellent data, something almost none of the audience had seen at the time. There was a lot of discussion of the Lori Drew case as well.

    The other session was at the workshop on social networks. I co-moderated with moot of 4chan. Will Bower dialed in to talk about the Hillary Clinton Facebook group getting overrun by trolls. At the end of the afternoon Elizabeth Stark led a brainstorming of Designing Social Networking Tools for Activism and we came up with some great recommendations for better and finer-grained moderation tools as well as the possibility of positive incentive systems. It’s interesting how little the state of the art on tools has moved since then — or for that matter since message boards a decade ago.

  19. Restructure! Says:

    Interesting!

    4chan’s /b/ appears to have a strong male bias, given the misogyny. It seems to have a white, heterosexual, cis bias too. Do you think it’s possible to have a collective ‘Anonymous’ that is more representative of the general population? Do you think the name ‘Anonymous’ welcomes white, heterosexual, cis men specifically (since giving indications that you are not all of these means you are giving identifying information that makes you less anonymous), or do you think the male bias is a side-effect of the porn content of the message board?

  20. jonpincus Says:

    Good questions.

    ‘Anonymous’ is tricky to discuss because it is simultaneously a very creative anti-Scientology activism movement that sometimes branches out more broadly … and an internet mob that goes around attacking people at random especially feminists. Separating out the two, it seems to me that the activism aspects could be very representative — and would be more effective if it was. And anti-feminist mob, not so much.

    In Anonymous’ case, the mask they wore in person was also male. 4Chan was I think somewhere around 65% male at the time; not sure whether /b/ mirrored that. The ratio in the pictures I remember seeing of Anonymous demonstrations seemed much higher.

    It’s a great point about the gendering of the word ‘anonymous’ and the concept of anonymity in different contexts.

    jon

  21. Restructure! Says:

    jon,

    Another link to add to your collection.

  22. Restructure! Says:

    Maybe jerky boy/goaler/brett weir/Anonymous is actually Rob Ford.

    what would canada benifit from , a boat load of fckn tamils or the swedish bikini team!
    don cherry for govenor general + steven harper majority+ rob ford mayor= a whiter better canada!

  23. Jayn Says:

    Harper majority? *shivers* Just the idea of it makes me glad I left the country.

  24. fred Says:

    It’s a bit late to be worrying about “groupthink”. Most of the people commenting on this blog already sound like they’re part of a cult. Still, I acknowledge restructure has, for the most part, tolerated dissenting viewpoints. I give credit for that. My recommendation for moderation is that most comments be allowed with the exception of certain behaviors which show a lack of good faith such as profanity, ad hominems / identity epithets, double standards and circular logic. Reasonable people can disagree but those who resort to that are by no means reasonable. I’m not arguing for a heavy hand but an acknowledgement that willful and habitual violations show bad faith. Otherwise, I don’t care what standard is used so long as it is objective and applied equally to all.

  25. AfroCan Says:

    Fred wrote:

    My recommendation for moderation is that most comments be allowed with the exception of certain behaviors which show a lack of good faith such as profanity, ad hominems / identity epithets, double standards and circular logic.
    “double standards and circular logic”.

    …………..

    And have many of your blogger comments/rhetoric not been in violation of the same profanity, identity epithets and lack of faith that you now claim you wish Restructure to moderate….?

    It is curious that you cannot or will not understand the rhetorical and social practices of White privilege but can identify the concept of “double standard”.

    At the core of the White and male privilege discussions that we have debating on this blog, is that very same maddening, inherent, contradictory “Now you see it, now you don’t” double standard often deployed by the dominant racial group.

    I’m also thinking of another word that begins with the letter “H”. But I will refrain….

    Your sudden “volte-face” here is not very convincing….

    Hmmm….

  26. fred Says:

    Afrocant-

    You just violated every standard I listed except for profanity. You should have tossed one in just to keep it real.

  27. Jennifer Kesler Says:

    Reading this post and the comments has given me a lot to think about. I do moderate comments most blogs would allow through. Some of the ones I moderate that people might find controversial are:

    –Comments that ask such Equality 101 questions that, if I let them all through, every thread on the site would be derailed into an intro course for people who, 99 times out of 100, don’t really want to be educated at all. They’re just trying to ease into educating us about how things really work in the world where men are naturally dominant and women should learn to live with it.
    –Comments that demonstrate the commenter read the first 25 words, assumed the rest of the post said X, and wrote a lengthy response to X.
    –Comments where people say we’re wasting our time, are too sensitive, should do something better with our time, etc. Again, every thread would be the same if we let these through.
    –Comments that don’t violate anything, but certainly aren’t adding to the discussion. Especially if they’re lengthy.
    –Comments which accuse us of deleting anything we disagree with. We have a lot of disagreeing comments all over the site, but sometimes there’s a thread in which everyone who “disagrees” with us does so because they really don’t give a crap about women. That’s why their comments are getting modded, but they can’t understand why “women don’t matter” isn’t a simple opinion, in our eyes, but more of an attack upon our entire gender.
    –Comments that claim we’re being sexist, or that a POC writer/commenter is being racist. (Even when a marginalized person IS hating on the dominant group, it’s not the same, because it’s not backed up by the entire culture. It’s hate, and it’s wrong… but it’s also less common than some wish to believe. People who aren’t used to being irritated get irritated easily: privileged folk think they’re being attacked the minute someone suggests their worldview might be a little skewed. I speak from personal experience of being privileged in some ways.)

    Part of my approach is: I think about how these pages on my site will appear to people in 5 years, 20 years, 100 years. Do I want people to see intelligent thoughts drowning in repetitive (and they are SO redundant, goodness) comments that all boil down to the same failure to understand why we think this stuff matters? How discouraging would that be?

    The standard opinion in the US and much of the world seems to be: no, it’s not nice to be mean to marginalized people, but, well, some people are just more important than others, and what’s wrong with that? Sites like these are for people who think there’s quite a bit wrong with that. IMO, people who don’t share that fundamental opinion are not owed a voice on these sites. There are so many others where they can speak to their heart’s content. As some in this thread have pointed out, WE get moderated for suggesting that people other than the dominant groups could possibly matter enough to merit restructuring our culture. If we can accept that not all places are open to us, surely the other side can accept that it works both ways.

  28. Comment censorship and comment policies VIII: Coloured bloggers in need of a reality check « Michael Eriksson's Blog Says:

    […] I encountered a blog discussing censorship of commentse (a recurring topic on my own blog). After leaving a comment and a follow-up, I have received email […]

  29. AfroCan Says:

    Comment censorship and comment policies VIII: Coloured bloggers in need of a reality check « Michael Eriksson’s Blog

    Mr. Eriksson,

    Please stop mis-representing my rebuttal comments on your blog!

    If you are “offended” or “alienated” by my Anti-Racist stance and rebuttals—then don’t read them and please don’t cut and paste them elsewhere on another Blog and their original context! You are now mobilizing the same underhanded strategies that Mr. Glenn Beck indulged in with his so-called “reclaiming” of the Civil Rights Movement…

    Like I have said before on this blog—either you are COMMITTED to Anti-racist principles and practices—or you are not!

    It is contemptible of you!

    Please tell me the Title of the Book you have read on Racism and White Privilege, since as a European Male, you seem to know more the subject than the people who LIVE the OPPRESSION!

  30. michaeleriksson Says:

    @AfroCan

    If you feel misrepresented, please post a factual clarification—not a personal attack.

    I note that your last comment uses much rhetoric and little argument. Further, that you yourself misrepresent my statements.

  31. AfroCan Says:

    michaeleriksson Says:
    October 31, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Notably, statements like those by AfroCan are likely to have a negative effect on the cause and on society, by antagonizing many who would have been supportive, by making others less likely to pay attention when true issues are raised (if one cries “wolf”…), and by causing unnecessary rifts in society between the “true believers” and the rest of the world.

    ………..

    If my comments are “antogonizing many who would have been supportive”—- SO BE IT!

    However, that was never my goal. Rather, my “good intentions” were to force White European people to REFLECT critically on issues of race and White privilege rather than allowing them to hide behind FALSE claims of “censorship” and “reverse victimization” that Black and People of Colour are out to “get them”. We have no power to OPPRESS WHITE PEOPLE!

    Furthermore, if you insist on posting my comments on other blogs, please do me the BIG favour of writing the WHOLE COMMENT from beginning to end, rather than taking SELECT BITS out of context…

    For example, another comment attributed to AFROCAN that was left incomplete.

    Another curious I discourse I see going on in these blogs, is calling [people of colour] racist—an utterly absurd rebuttal. Granted—some POCs can be “prejudiced” but not “racist”.

    Read the WHOLE POST.

    I also stated that People of Colour have NO POWER to ACT on their individual prejudices. If POCs possessed the POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC power, historically and in the continuum, to enslave people, force Whites to live in apartheid conditions, or draft exclusionary forms of legislation like JIM CROW LAW—-then you could call them RACIST. As we have NEVER possessed such power to DOMINATE OR EXCLUDE WHITE PEOPLE from socio-political/economic participation—–then WHITE PEOPLE CANNOT label POCs “racist”!

    Find a DEFINTION OF RACISM.

    I also stated, “prejudice” from People of Color usually emerges from their negative experiences and rejections in negotiating White society…As a defense mechanism, some POCs are not afraid to voice their White antipathy…I’m not condoning their “prejudice”, BUT I certainly understand from where their hostility and anger comes.

    Try to Empathize a bit….Like POCs are supposed to “grin and bear” all the psychic abuse Whites dish out on a daily basis without even a rebuttal; Are we supposed to “love” our oppressors no matter what…? Good lord! You got the wrong fxcking saint!

    Why don’t you look up / read a BOOK about the TRUE DEFINITION of RACISM AND WHITE DOMINATION. Like Scandinavians (I am assuming this from your blog) somehow KNOW racist oppression better than dark-skinned/racialized people do!

    Mr. Eriksson, you are quite FREE to criticize me, but please STOP mis-representing me on another blog site!

    I am COMMITTED to EVERYTHING I write and say! If you are uncomfortable with ANTI-RACIST, language or perspectives then don’t comment on RESTRUCTURE.

    If you feel “offended and alienated” by AFROCAN’s rebuttals and hardcore “TALKBACK” TO OPPRESSION—-that’s TOO BAD!

    Perhaps, now you can imagine, and even empathize what it is like to be a POC and live everyday of one’s life in a White dominated world where POCs have to choke down and digest, not only hateful and contemptuous words but behaviours and violent actions on our bodies!

    Again, anyone who is a CRITICAL THINKER on this blog would recognize that my rebuttals emerge from Anti-RACIST language/principles/experience, or as White guys like to frame it—-THINK TANK—-if that pleases you!

    Essentially, RACISM has now become a WAR OF RHETORIC.

    I DO NOT DENY that my comments may sound a little anti-White. Essentially, it is the White assumptions of “superiority”, paternalism, arrogance and LOVE OF DOMINION that I am “attacking”, trying to expose/dismantle, by pointing out the DISCURSIVE RHETORICAL STRATEGIES WHITE PEOPLE OFTEN MOBILIZE.

    Ultimately, I and other Persons of Colour have no power to transform our prejudices, antipathy, and alienation about WHITE DOMINATION into POLITICAL ACTION!

    Curiously, why didn’t you cut and paste any of my other conciliatory comments, where I also stated it is important to INCLUDE White people, and that they are indeed WELCOME, if they come with an OPEN MIND and are COMMITTED to LISTENING TO POC grievances/struggles, and EDUCATING THEMSELVES—-rather than trying to COLONIZE discussion with their STATUS QUO and COLORBLIND perspectives.

    My so-called “reverse White hate” comments were rebuttals to the FRACTIOUS TROLLS who want to disrupt and COLONIZE discussion. Please be clear!

    Either you EMPATHIZE WITH AND SUPPORT Anti-Racist principles and practice or you DON’T! Please don’t sit on the fence, feigning “empathy” over here, and then going over to another blog and making contradictory comments!

    Again, PLEASE STOP taking my ANTI-RACIST comments out of their original context and mis-representing this struggle!

  32. michaeleriksson Says:

    @AfroCan

    I have no intention of getting into a long shouting match here.

    A few observations, however:

    o “Furthermore, if you insist on posting my comments on other blogs, please do me the BIG favour of writing the WHOLE COMMENT from beginning to end, rather than taking SELECT BITS out of context…”

    Quoting pertinent parts of a longer text is standard procedure and nothing that you can complain about. Notably, I see no signs that I have misrepresented you—and if I have, then in honest misunderstanding. (Deliberate and negligent misrepresentation being the exceptions where selective quoting is not allowed.) Feel free to actually point out any instances of misrepresentation, preferably at my blog.

    o Your definition of racism is fundamentally flawed: Power has nothing to do with the issue, but stems from an Orwellian/Newspeak re-definition for rhetorical purposes. It is not standard use, it is not international use, it is not historically compatible use. Your application of this incorrect definition does you no credit—neither does the fact that you attack me for ignorance when I adhere to the correct definition.

    Note that I explicitly refer to your use as “Orwellian” in my blog entry, which should give the reader the necessary context of rhetorical misuse.

    See also http://www.aSwedeInGermany.de/50LanguageAndWriting/50Racism.html for more on abuse of “racism” (I will add a discussion of your special case there later). In short, and with some oversimplification: Racism is the believe that ones own race is inherently superior.

    o “Essentially, RACISM has now become a WAR OF RHETORIC.”

    Your war, not mine. I try to counter-act the war of rhetoric—you are one of the active fighters.

    o I note, to avoid any misunderstanding, that I have nowhere claimed that you yourself would be a racist. Nor have I anywhere used phrases like “reverse White hate”. (I do have the strong impression, however, that you are prejudiced, over-generalizing, and lacking in objectivity.)

  33. Jayn Says:

    michael, the definition that Afrocan is using is pretty common in anti-racist circles, at least the ones I’ve seen. While the one you’ve provided is accurate wrt personal ideologies, oppression is more than just how people think–power is an integral part of it.

    Also, I do wonder if locale is causing some misunderstanding. I see from your blog that you’re in Europe, so your experiences in these issues is likely very different from Restructure’s or Afrocan’s or mine.

    (That said, I don’t see much evidence of any introspection on your part, or willingness to listen to the POV of another lest it show that you do not actually know everything)

  34. AfroCan Says:

    Jayne wrote:

    power is an integral part of it.

    I don’t see much evidence of any introspection on your part, or willingness to listen to the POV of another lest it show that you do not actually know everything

    …………….

    Thank you, Jayne! At least you GET it!

    michaeleriksson wrote:

    “lacking in objectivity”

    Yet, another facet of rhetorical White racism and privilege of perspective—–that only White can claim “objectivity”, “neutrality” and “truth”. Understand there is no such thing—all experience is filtered through history experience and ideology!

    And at no time have I claimed “objectivity”—-my rebuttals and experience emerge from critical anti racist perspectives! I do not dare claim “objectivity” and “neutrality”….As if only White people have a claim on the “truth” and “impartiality”…..!

    That is part of your White arrogance right there! Everything Whites extol is “truth” but the experiences of people of colour are “fabrications”, “lies” and “rantings”!

  35. michaeleriksson Says:

    @Jayn

    If a group of badminton players wish to call their sport “tennis” between themselves, then they are entitled to do so. They are not entitled to attack others for using “tennis” and “badminton” in the correct meanings, however—and they have to take the full responsibility for any confusion their non-standard use causes.

    Power may be an integral part of oppression, but oppression and racism are very different things.

    You can rest assured that I have done enough introspection and study of various arguments to justify the statements I make—which relate to rhetoric, selective perception, and similar. The degree to which racism or racial oppression/discrimination is present is of secondary importance. (You will note that I on at least two occasions explicitly state my lack of complete understanding of the situation of Canadian blacks resp. AfroCan. If you were more familiar with my writings, you would know that I quite well aware of my own lack of omniscience.)

    If someone wants me to spend more time on any particular POV, he best does so by using factual arguments—not rhetoric. (The purpose of the latter being to convince people irrespective, often even despite, the facts.)

  36. michaeleriksson Says:

    @AfroCan

    Objectivity can never be reached, but there are various degrees of lack of it—and we should at least try to be objective.

    Frankly, now you are starting to sound like a racist: Do you really believe that I have certain opinions because I am white? (For that matter, how do you know that I actually am white? Your assumption is correct, but there was no guarantee for this.) Who claimed that coloured would be liers (or similar)? I certainly do not.

    One thing I have learned is to differ between the individual and the group—can you say the same?

  37. Jennifer Kesler Says:

    Notably, statements like those by AfroCan are likely to have a negative effect on the cause and on society, by antagonizing many who would have been supportive, by making others less likely to pay attention when true issues are raised (if one cries “wolf”…), and by causing unnecessary rifts in society between the “true believers” and the rest of the world.

    Michael, the argument that bigotry is perpetuated by angry marginalized people yapping excessively (which is what your quoted statement here boils down to) is an old silencing tactic. There’s a huge amount of privilege baked into the very idea. Bigotry is perpetuated by bigots perceiving that society approves of their bigotry – more often tacitly than directly. Bigots furthermore infer tacit approval whenever anyone does NOT call out bigotry, confront bigots, etc.

    As AfroCan said, people with the potential to be allies may at first be put off by the anger they see in a safe space for a marginalized group, but they get over it. They get curious. They start to read more, educating themselves, and then ask questions that show they’ve been trying to learn and could use some expert help filling in the gaps. (I have personally *never* seen such a potential ally given grief; it’s only the people who show up knowing nothing and *demanding* everyone stop what they’re doing and educate them that get turned away, and fair enough, because most of those people really just want to educate the marginalized people on what their “place” is.)

    You’re attempting to show AfroCan what his place is. How textbook racist is that? No one’s alienating you. You’re just looking for rationalizations to back up what you’ve already decided.

  38. michaeleriksson Says:

    @Jennifer Kesler

    My comments are made in good faith: I am not trying to silence anyone, but to point to problems with an unreasoned behaviour (and similar).

    Quite to the contrary to your claims, the attempts of silencing I have seen myself have been almost exclusively from the politically correct (Sweden, Germany, US—Canada may be different).

    Your discussion of anger and so on is likely to be naive—and even if correct, it would not be an excuse for not doing things better and in a more constructive manner.

    I do not attempt to show AfroCan his place—I point to problem with his behaviour that have nothing to do with either his or my skin colour.

    Your accusation of textbook racism has no basis in the facts of the case. Your talk of rationalizations, etc., merely proof that you have not understood my writings.

    I will now retire from this discussion and unsubscribe to comments. Should someone wish to discuss specific factual issues with actual arguments ad rem, they are welcome to visit my own blog entry.

  39. AfroCan Says:

    Dear michaeleriksson,

    You’re telling me you know nothing about racism and the power issues behind it, yet I could say you know nothing about the behaviors and reign of Sweden’s King Charles VII…?

    Do you feel as a Black person, I’m “entitled” to comment on your country’s history of oppression through an “objective” perspective…?

  40. AfroCan Says:

    CORRECTION OF PRONOUNS

    Dear michaeleriksson,

    You’re telling me I know nothing about racism and the power issues behind it, yet I could say you know nothing about the behaviors and reign of Sweden’s King Charles VII…?

    Do you feel as a Black person, I’m “entitled” to comment on your country’s history of oppression through an “objective” perspective…?

  41. Jayn Says:

    Michael:

    If the word ‘tennis’ is often used to mean ‘badminton’ amongst badminton players in the wider badminton community, then within that context it would be appropriate to correct someone for using the word in a way that is not congruent with how others are using it. Leaving such gaps un-checked screws with the transmission of information and leads to misunderstandings. (See also: ‘theory of evolution’ and how the term ‘theory’ is used in the scientific community vs. the lay community) Outside of that context, you’d have a point–however this blog is at least partly about racial issues.

    And again, while normally you’d have a point…aw screw it, it’s late and I have a feeling I’d be talking to thin air.

  42. AfroCan Says:

    Thank you, Jennifer!

    You have exposed the discourse of paternalism!

    The ideology that Whites “know” and can “articulate” the experience of the oppressed better than they can…

    And at the heart of it, there is a false mask of “empathy”!

  43. Restructure! Says:

    Thank you all for responding to michaeleriksson. I had a post titled, “Political Correctness” is a reactionary term against the loss of privilege (quoting someone else), so I’m a bit tired and bored when people rail against “political correctness”.

  44. AfroCan Says:

    michaeleriksson

    One thing I have learned is to differ between the individual and the group—can you say the same?

    ……

    You are patronizing me here…

    I do know the difference—and also that Black people and other POCs are not easily accorded the privileged status of being perceived as “individual”. Everything we do or say is constructed by the White gaze as “collective” / group thought and action anyway….

    So for the time being, I embrace the “collective”….

    The question is, are you speaking for your “White group” or as an “individual”?

    Part of your privilege as a White person is that you can easily walk in and out of his individual / collective category when you choose…!

  45. jonpincus Says:

    Returning to the subject of comment moderation: this thread is a great example of where technology would be helpful. At this point, i think we’d get pretty broad agreement on which comments are or aren’t relevant to the stated topic of comment moderation … wouldn’t it be great if there were a way we could all quickly mark posts (or even paragraphs) as on or off topic, and then while viewing choose between an unfiltered view, an optional Restructure!-filtered view, and a community view? MiniMSFT is another blog that could really use this functionality. It’s not like it would be so hard to implement but for some reason nobody does.

    jon

    PS: thanks for the link, Restructure! … I haven’t really updated the page since 2008 but will include it next time I make a pass at the page

  46. Jennifer Kesler Says:

    Michael, you are telling a POC what he has the right to think and feel, and it doesn’t even strike you as wrong, because you’re that ensconced in your privilege as a white man.

    Michael’s comments are another example of ones I moderate: we’ve heard it all before. We get these “mansplainers” who are determined to get through to the silly egalitarians why women really should just fetch men a beer, put out and shut up. They honestly seem to think they’re going to say it better than all the erudite historical figures that have been mansplaining for centuries why women are inferior to men, soulless, etc.

    But the fact is, we’re all thoroughly aware of what they think. We’ve heard it all before and rejected it. It’s the default view in our society, that certain people are more important than others, so it’s not like we’ve somehow grown up egalitarian and completely missed this alternate viewpoint. So what’s the point of publishing them?

  47. Flaw In The System Says:

    “mansplainers”

    I shudder a little everytime I read this, it only continues to advertise sexualized language. Geekspaining, or geeksplination work just as well.

  48. Jayn Says:

    I usually abbreviate it to ‘splaining outside of specifically feminist contexts. Easier to remember. Sounds like Jennifer mainly deals with them within those contexts though.

  49. AfroCan Says:

    Jennifer Kesler Says:
    October 31, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Michael, you are telling a POC what he has the right to think and feel, and it doesn’t even strike you as wrong, because you’re that ensconced in your privilege as a white man.

    ………

    This is a very insightful comment as it makes the link of “intersectionality” to other oppressions/social categories such as gender and feminism.

    I agree that men (whether they be White European or Men of Colour) have to be mindful and critically conscious of our male privilege when coming into a feminist space. We must be mindful that our interjections into debate do not patronize or attempt to colonize/“take over” with the false assumptions that men know women’s oppression/ experience better than a woman, that males know what remedies good for women, or that we have an “entitlement” to speak without being conscious of our privilege.

    As I’m sure you already know, even in the realm of feminist politics there are conflicts between White women and women of colour, and the old vs. younger generations of feminists, heterosexuality vs homosexuality. I have witnessed POC counter claims of “appropriation” of experience, condescension and silencing of marginalized sub-groups (Lesbian feminists, low-income women) who cannot voice in bringing their experiences to the forefront. The Dominant voices cannot always recognize their relative privilege or the intersectionality of categories.

    While original discussion of “Ethics of Comment Moderation” appears to have diverged into a tangent, commentary has again exposed another layer of oppression, bringing us back to the pervasive issues of Privilege underlying blog posts and moderation—-perspective, assumptions, values, norms, control, paternalism and the co-opting of POC experience.

    I agree that my own tone has on this blog often takes a militant one. But I will not apologize for it, retract or modify it to suit and smooth the ruffled feathers of White liberals and self-pro-claimed Anti-racists. If my tone appears “threatening” and “alienating” to certain White bloggers, understand that tone emerges from some harsh lived experiences with racism and privilege in Canada.

    Over 40 now, I have long rejected colorblindness and Black model minority compliance as options/strategies in mediating White privilege/racism. I have repeatedly found that they don’t intervene on anything and only get patronized and silenced anyway.

    So I have kicked over the traces and claimed my militant stance on race and privilege. It’s best to take a firm Anti-racist stance and remain consistent about it.

    I became particularly upset with the blogger “michaeleriksson” because his writings feign “empathy” and “solidarity” in Anti-racist struggle. As he hails from Sweden, living in a nation/region that has no history/legacy of racial oppression/White supremacist domination and that has until recently, been insulated from Non-white immigration, I question what he genuinely understands about race and privilege.

    Has “michaeleriksson interrogated his own privilege as a White male, what this dominant social category means?

    I find bloggers like michaeleriksson and his actions frankly duplicitous, as they inevitably expose their inconsistency and paternalistic attitudes toward people of colour. Restructure’s blog has become fodder and raw material for his own blog as he appropriates posts, de-contextualizes comments, and imposes a revisionist / paternalistic framework that fits his own status quo hidden agenda.

    I believe he is a fraud—more contemptible than the trolls like jerkyboy, Sam, and Fred. As obnoxious as these “bad boys” and “White victims” appear, at least they are consistent and “transparent” in their antipathy for Anti-racist / POC struggles. One just walks away, leaving them alone…

    Michaeleriksson’s actions demonstrate that no POC space is genuinely safe from White moles and folks who sit on the fence of Anti-racist politics.

    More importantly, his actions undermine the POC’s trust and that “good faith” in White anti-racists.

    White males like Michaeleriksson make me very sad and alienated—hence my “angry” Black rhetoric.

  50. AfroCan Says:

    “michaeleriksson:

    I will now retire from this discussion and unsubscribe to comments. Should someone wish to discuss specific factual issues with actual arguments ad rem, they are welcome to visit my own blog entry.

    ……

    You are exercising your White male privilege once again—-that you can “unsubscribe” to comments and disconnect at any time and retreat into your own blog world where you exercise authority and control over “actual arguments”. What you are actually saying is that only White people can claim “truth” and “objectivity” on arguments….Any rebuttals and challenges from POCs, in calling out your paternalism/privilege, are now re-constructed as skewed “rantings” that cannot hold any meaning.

  51. fred Says:

    ‘splaining eh? That’s an excellent term and I think I’ll borrow it to describe what all of you have just done with Michael. Now to come up with something descriptive to stick in front of it. I’m sure something will come to me sooner or later.

  52. Jennifer Kesler Says:

    Yes, I mainly deal with whateversplainers in a feminist context, because while we deal with intersectionality, we mainly attract bigots of the sexist/misogynistic types. Since all my favorite people are geeks, I think just plain “‘splainers” is a good way to go.

    AfroCan, you’re actually describing three kinds of problematic commenters, even though that wasn’t your intent in mentioning feminism’s failures with regards to intersectionality. First, you have the straightforward trolls, who are awful, but at least you know what you’re dealing with (and not everyone takes them seriously). Then you have the ignorantly privileged people who may eventually figure out that their version of activism is leaving some people behind, but they haven’t yet. That’s where a lot of misappropriation takes place, and when someone gets called on that kind of behavior, that’s when they either mend their ways or become a michaelericksson – someone who, as you said, feigns empathy and solidarity, but is really more like a mole, an infiltrator using other people’s struggles to further his own personal goals.

  53. fred Says:

    jennifer writes, someone who, as you said, feigns empathy and solidarity, but is really more like a mole, an infiltrator using other people’s struggles to further his own personal goals.

    I hear ya. They should be furthering your personal goals instead.

  54. Jayn Says:

    He can further his own goals all he likes. Just as long as he doesn’t pretend he’s doing someone else a service when he’s not.

  55. fred Says:

    You mean like restructure does with blacks and indians?

  56. AfroCan Says:

    @ Jennifer Kesler
    November 1, 2010

    Thank you for your thoughtful responses…it is most appreciated!

    Yet, I will keep my response brief here…I am feeling very alienated in this space and I too feel I must withdraw.

    This is not the first time my words and social experiences as a Black man negotiating racism/privilege in Canada have been appropriated to bolster White research or/and have been de-contextualized within a paternalistic framework…Twice, I have been duped by liberal Whites feigning “empathy”, “concern”, and “solidarity” for the experiences of the oppressed.

    In either case, the oppressed was further dis-empowered, through strategic omissions and/or re-contextualization of “his words” made to fit within a discourses of “false empathy” and paternalism!

    I understand the conditions of “speaking out” better now—-the oppressed can only speak so long as he “accepts” “victim hood” and his “subordinate place”.

    Any human AGENCY on the part of the oppressed in naming his oppression or changing his situation must be minimized or silenced. That’s not part of the “script”.

    So that’s why it was so easy the detect and call out Michaeleriksson as a White anti-racist fraud and imposter!

    These are harsh words I know Whites don’t like to hear! But believe me, I could have found some more apt and choice words to call him…but again I will restrain in respecting Restructure’s “profanity” guidelines.

    That is all…

  57. fred Says:

    Thanks for “splaining” that to us afro.

  58. Anonymous Says:

    why did we ever have minority immigration?
    were would we be now if we remained western european only?
    better off in everything im sure!
    however the east indian women are sure hot!
    we could have just sent for them only!

  59. Jayn Says:

    *hugs Afro*

    That totally blows. And yet sadly, I know it’s a very common experience among all oppressed groups. While I’m sure many people will readily agree that everyone should be allowed free agency in their lives, it’s ridiculous how often minorities get thrown under the bus by people who ‘know’. (And it’s really heartbreaking to see it happening in my home country–I honestly thought we were better than that)

    I think that’s the single hardest thing for any ally to learn–when to sit down and shut up. We so often think we ‘know’, that we ‘understand’, while forgetting that we only get one viewpoint–that of the privileged class. Which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s invalid, but it does mean we’re missing information. I don’t know what it’s like to be black in Canada. I never will, no matter how much I learn. And that’s why your input is so very important–you see things from a perspective I can’t.

  60. fred Says:

    And that’s why your input is so very important–you see things from a perspective I can’t.

    Sure you can. Just subscribe to the “Final Call”.

  61. Sam Says:

    “I think that’s the single hardest thing for any ally to learn–when to sit down and shut up. We so often think we ‘know’, that we ‘understand’, while forgetting that we only get one viewpoint–that of the privileged class.”

    Fred, would you pass me the insulin, please?

  62. fred Says:

    Sam-

    After reading some of their canoodles I’m more in need of pepto bismol.

  63. Jennifer Kesler Says:

    What Jayn said, Afro. I’m backing out now because I’m concerned maybe some of my comments de-contextualized some of what you were saying. It’s a tendency I struggle with – how to speak up as an ally without putting my foot in my mouth. I don’t always get it right.

    I understand the conditions of “speaking out” better now—-the oppressed can only speak so long as he “accepts” “victim hood” and his “subordinate place”.

    That’s a great description of what goes wrong even with well-intentioned allies. :(

    Thanks for a very enlightening discussion, everyone!

  64. Anonymous Says:

    blacks are the smallest population in canada, yet they get in the most shit by far, we shouldnt let jamicans in , the africans are all right !

  65. Sam Says:

    “After reading some of their canoodles I’m more in need of pepto bismol.”
    *hugs fred*
    Fred, I think you’re right. From the system of racialized omphaloskepsis that is endemic in this space there arises a peculiar form of sesquipedalianism so fatuous that it elicits in the bodies of observers an acute reactive gastralgia that might be ameliorated by ingesting a preparation of bismuth subsalicylate. Never mind the insulin, can I bum a Pepto off of you?
    *burp*

  66. Anonymous Says:

    i want to know what restructure looks like?
    i bet she is pretty!

  67. Jordan Retro Says:

    I’m glad to see this blog.
    I really like that because the post have many things to learn………

  68. Anonymous Says:

    how can you get all worked up about costumes, but when dark muslims kill and torture christians, white and other there is nothing said?
    look at how the muslims act.
    i guess they were colonized also so its ok!

  69. Sam Says:

    “how can you get all worked up about costumes, but when dark muslims kill and torture christians, white and other there is nothing said?”

    You forgot to bring up the ongoing Boer Genocide…oops!
    The world is scrupulously ignoring that. Hacking up white farmers with machetes and dispatching them in other imaginative ways doesn’t count. They all have it coming, you know…even the infants.

  70. AfroCan Says:

    Having to Turn off Comments for a While – Sorry About This
    November 3, 2010

    http://www.timwise.org/

    U.S. based and prominent Anti-Racist activist Tim Wise (White Like Me and Colorblind) writes on the problems he has encountered with “purely vile and borderline sociopathic” trolls on his own blog.

  71. Restructure! Says:

    It is ironic that my comment on michaeleriksson’s Comment censorship and comment policies VIIIs: Coloured bloggers in need of a reality check (follow-up) was censored.

  72. Jennifer Kesler Says:

    I didn’t bother commenting on any of his posts, even the ones where he talks about me. He has an audience of one.

    And yes, of course he censored your comment! He’s a Grade A hypocrite. He keeps saying people are stating misleading things about him: no, we’re providing insight into his personality for those who can’t resolve the contradictions in what he’s saying. He claims not to be a bigot, and then everything he says boils down to White Is Right, Male Is Right, Those Bitches Lie When They Say We Raped Them, etc. We, sadly, have more experience with personalities exactly like his than he has. Because it’s like there much be a factory somewhere in which they pump out these boring little clones. They’re so common!

  73. jon Says:

    What Jennifer said.

    If michaeleriksson didn’t exist, we would have to invent him.

  74. AfroCan Says:

    Jennifer Kesler Says:
    November 7, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I didn’t bother commenting on any of his posts….He’s a Grade A hypocrite.

    …….

    My sentiments exactly…

    Eriksson’s actions reveal the true imperialist mentality at heart:

    1. Crosses POC’s / cultural boundaries because his sense of “superiority” and privilege in “conquering” the racialized Other (and its women) without fear of consequences.

    2. Appropriates, exploits and misrepresents ideas / the “raw resources” from the POC to fuel his own ambitions/ economy/social interests.

    3. Protects his own territory / privatized space in blocking alternative perspectives / excluding unwanted POC others where he has authority and dominion. They cannot
    “contaminate” the boundaries of his turf.

  75. jon Says:

    Well said, AfroCan. I’d also point out that in the process, michaelericksson managed to provoke tensions between us — a well-known technique of trolls and imperialists.


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