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Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Old 08-09-22, 11:45 PM
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Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

In the politics forum, someone posted a pretty racist meme. Multiple people asked him -- politely -- to explain why he posted it. He ignored those requests.

Eventually, a mod came and in advised everyone to ignore the racist poster, and to stop calling him out.

So I guess my question is this: is this the kind of forum where people are allowed to post things suggesting black people are criminals? Are we just supposed to shrug and pretend that's not happening? Am I the asshole for getting offended by explicit racism?

Here's a joke: What do you have when five people sit down to a pleasant dinner with a Nazi? Six Nazis.

Please don't let this become a forum where racism is tolerated.
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Old 08-10-22, 05:57 AM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Iím here for the same reason as JasonF. Itís the second time this week where Iíve seen someone play coy with words or tweets to say something racist. When I called out the first one he started projecting and gaslighting calling me a troll and when other members pointed out that he was the troll and that his words were racist, he disappeared from the thread.

Now, for a second time this week, another member posted a very racist tweet by Scott Adams at complete face value, not to criticize him but because he agrees with Adams. Other members called him out to explain himself and that member kept posting ignoring the requests to answer for posting a racist comment in this forum. Even though I have that member on ignore, I could see the comment when others quoted him. The moment I raised my voice and called him out to explain the racist tweet, I was told to ignore it. Then everyone else in the thread was told to do the same. So like Jason asked, is this forum going to tolerate racism? Are we supposed to now ignore racist posts? I know many members already reported said post, but the ones that have been scolded publicly are the members that called out the racist post
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Old 08-10-22, 09:04 AM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

I mostly only lurk now, but I did see that entire exchange. I know moderating is a thankless volunteer gig that is extremely challenging, so I have a lot of grace for the moderators, but I confess I'm utterly baffled by the moderator action in this particular case. As far as I can tell, all those asking for the poster of the meme to explain his intent in posting it were following the rules of the forum: they called out the post for its content and asked for explanation from the poster. The poster willfully ignored those requests for explanation, as evidenced by his continued posting of other memes and engagement in discussion about them, but not the meme in question.

The moderator's subsequent directive, in short, was "stop hounding the poster of that meme and get back to posting more memes." I understand the desire to maintain peace but that directive seems utterly antithetical to the following stated goal in the Rules & Expectations sticky (italicized emphasis mine):
Our goal here is to promote an environment in which people can present various ideas, opinions and points of view in a manner which supports discussion of these things.
I would argue that the very existence of the Memes thread is antithetical to that stated goal, but I lost that argument long ago. If the Memes thread has to exist, then in the spirit of that stated goal, there should be a clear expectation that posting a meme in that thread is also committing to participate in good faith discussion about the content of the meme. Otherwise, what is the justification for that thread's existence within the context of the stated goal? In my estimation, the person whose actions were least aligned with that stated goal was the person who originally posted the meme and then ignored questions about it that were presented in an open-ended manner. The questions only got slightly less polite after it became clear they were being willfully ignored, but even then I would argue the tone of the questioning remained civil, while the willful silence from the original poster remained uncivil, or to frame it more directly, not at all "in a manner which supports discussion of these things."

Racism, whether blatant or veiled, should not go unchecked on this forum. I believe the best way to keep it in check is to encourage civil discussion that may include challenging others in ways that stay within the stated rules when conscious or subconscious biases are apparent. That is what was being attempted by those raising questions about the meme in this case and it was oddly squashed. I am guessing that perhaps the moderation focus was on avoiding further escalation, which is somewhat understandable. But the lack of balance in not publicly calling for the original poster to engage in good faith discussion while publicly berating everyone else for "hounding" him is a pretty rough miss, in my opinion (admittedly, a miss I could also easily have had if I were in the difficult role of being a moderator).
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Old 08-10-22, 09:08 AM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Adding my voice to the people who think itís Not Okay that the mod response to this was to shut down criticism of the offending tweet, while seemingly no action was taken against the individual who posted it.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:10 AM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
I mostly only lurk now, but I did see that entire exchange. I know moderating is a thankless volunteer gig that is extremely challenging, so I have a lot of grace for the moderators, but I confess I'm utterly baffled by the moderator action in this particular case. As far as I can tell, all those asking for the poster of the meme to explain his intent in posting it were following the rules of the forum: they called out the post for its content and asked for explanation from the poster. The poster willfully ignored those requests for explanation, as evidenced by his continued posting of other memes and engagement in discussion about them, but not the meme in question.

The moderator's subsequent directive, in short, was "stop hounding the poster of that meme and get back to posting more memes." I understand the desire to maintain peace but that directive seems utterly antithetical to the following stated goal in the Rules & Expectations sticky (italicized emphasis mine):

I would argue that the very existence of the Memes thread is antithetical to that stated goal, but I lost that argument long ago. If the Memes thread has to exist, then in the spirit of that stated goal, there should be a clear expectation that posting a meme in that thread is also committing to participate in good faith discussion about the content of the meme. Otherwise, what is the justification for that thread's existence within the context of the stated goal? In my estimation, the person whose actions were least aligned with that stated goal was the person who originally posted the meme and then ignored questions about it that were presented in an open-ended manner. The questions only got slightly less polite after it became clear they were being willfully ignored, but even then I would argue the tone of the questioning remained civil, while the willful silence from the original poster remained uncivil, or to frame it more directly, not at all "in a manner which supports discussion of these things."

Racism, whether blatant or veiled, should not go unchecked on this forum. I believe the best way to keep it in check is to encourage civil discussion that may include challenging others in ways that stay within the stated rules when conscious or subconscious biases are apparent. That is what was being attempted by those raising questions about the meme in this case and it was oddly squashed. I am guessing that perhaps the moderation focus was on avoiding further escalation, which is somewhat understandable. But the lack of balance in not publicly calling for the original poster to engage in good faith discussion while publicly berating everyone else for "hounding" him is a pretty rough miss, in my opinion (admittedly, a miss I could also easily have had if I were in the difficult role of being a moderator).
Thanks for summing up my thoughts so eloquently. I realize I mostly lurk here, so my contributions wonít be missed. But itís clear that this particular poster is wilfully pushing the boundaries of whatís acceptable, and by chastising the people who called it out I think KurtD missed the mark here (unless thereís some further mod discussion/action forthcoming that weíre not privy to).

I realize that this forum has drifted to the left significantly over the last few years, and I donít want it to turn into an echo chamber. But thereís a mile of difference between espousing conservative viewpoints and trolling the forum.

Last edited by whaaat; 08-10-22 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 08-10-22, 10:03 AM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Maybe memes need some content other than just the meme, like videos do?

If you hesitate to explain why you like a particular meme, maybe it's best not to share it.
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Old 08-10-22, 10:08 AM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Is directly posting a link to what somebody wrote on Twitter a MEME?
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Old 08-10-22, 10:19 AM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Originally Posted by ViewAskewbian View Post
Is directly posting a link to what somebody wrote on Twitter a MEME?
Not really, but thereís a catch-all thread for memes and social media posts in the Politics forum.
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Old 08-10-22, 10:27 AM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Mostly I have no problem with people just posting memes or tweets without commentary because usually, they speak for themselves.

This one in particular spoke for itself, and it said "I think black people are criminals." I don't think it's unreasonable to ask the person who posted it why they thought that was a tweet worth sharing. Maybe the poster wanted us all to see how racist the tweet was because he was disgusted by it. Or maybe he thought it was funny to imply black people are criminals. I suspect the latter, but since the poster refused to engage, we were left with a racist tweet just parked in the middle of the thread.

The poster has now posted another meme making fun of Rudy Giuliani's infamous press conference at the Four Seasons landscaping company, and included a long-winded description of the fact that he's making fun of Giuliani's error. That explanation wasn't necessary and appears done solely to troll the forum. So I guess it's all a big joke to him, and I don't think political discussion -- even in the meme thread -- benefits from people who think other posters exist solely to be a target of trolling.
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Old 08-10-22, 10:46 AM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

I have to say, the whole "lets just sweep it under the rug instead of talking about it" stance was more shocking to me than the actual post.
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Old 08-10-22, 11:22 AM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Originally Posted by joeblow69 View Post
I have to say, the whole "lets just sweep it under the rug instead of talking about it" stance was more shocking to me than the actual post.
Very disappointing response, and I can only hope that further discussion regarding the post is taking place behind the scenes.
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Old 08-10-22, 11:24 AM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

I would like to state that I asked for an explanation SPECIFICALLY to let the poster in question defend why he posted it. There was even someone else jumping in to say they didn't take it in a racist way, which is certainly something that can be discussed as well.

"Just ignore him" is NOT a solution. I am anti-ignore button to the extreme.
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Old 08-10-22, 11:29 AM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
There was even someone else jumping in to say they didn't take it in a racist way, which is certainly something that can be discussed as well.
Yep, while I found jfoobarís interpretation very generous to Adams (it seems pretty clear to me that the tweet is reveling in racist stereotypes, not bemoaning unequal treatment of African-Americans by the justice system) at least thatís a take. Even if it presupposes that black voters would feel that Trump is being unfairly persecuted and feel some kinship to him on that basis.
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Old 08-10-22, 12:18 PM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
"Just ignore him" is NOT a solution. I am anti-ignore button to the extreme.
I am as well. And I get that the mods want to be careful not to penalize people for simply having unpopular views, but the attitude seems to be "Anything goes as long as you don't explicitly insult another poster, and it's incumbent on everyone else to deal with it." I mean, if someone were to post blatantly white supremacist propaganda -- the kind of stuff you'd find on the dark web -- would the mods' attitude be "just ignore it?" I would hope not. I know it can be a hard line to draw, but I think the mods need to make an effort to draw that line, not leave it up to the posters to pretend it's not happening.
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Old 08-10-22, 01:21 PM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

I am not in anyway defending the poster or Scott Adams, but the tweet in question didn't strike me as racist. That relies on the assumption that a Trump supporter is the one making the comment. If you think Trump is being unfairly and unjustly targeted by law enforcement, then the comment indicates a belief that black people are also unfairly and unjustly targeted by law enforcement. Or at least that's how I read it.

That said, if the comment was made by a never-Trumper conservative, I would take it as stating that both Trump and black people claim to be unfairly and unjustly targeted by law enforcement, when in actuality they deserve it.

Regardless of that, I also think it's perfectly fine for members to call out such posts as potentially problematic and ask for an explanation. And if it becomes clear that the poster has no intent of offering an explanation, I'm fine with people assuming the worst of their intentions.

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
"Just ignore him" is NOT a solution. I am anti-ignore button to the extreme.
Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
I am as well.
I am anti-ignore button for anyone who wants to have good faith discussions and displays a modicum of intellectual curiosity, regardless of what I think of their actual opinions. I am very pro-ignore button for people whose behavior suggests their intent, either some or all of the time, is simply to piss off and waste the time of those who disagree with them. And I give credit to the rules and mods here for doing a good job of winnowing most of the latter from the forum.
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Old 08-10-22, 01:40 PM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Originally Posted by maxfisher View Post
I am not in anyway defending the poster or Scott Adams, but the tweet in question didn't strike me as racist. That relies on the assumption that a Trump supporter is the one making the comment. If you think Trump is being unfairly and unjustly targeted by law enforcement, then the comment indicates a belief that black people are also unfairly and unjustly targeted by law enforcement. Or at least that's how I read it.
This is a particularly "give them the benefit of the doubt" hot take, that falls apart very quickly, because it relies on the assumption that Trumpers think "black people are unfairly and unjustly targeted by law enforcement". Does Scott Adams believe that? I'm very skeptical.
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Old 08-10-22, 02:33 PM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

I want to say I appreciate people taking the discussion to Feedback, thank you.

Okay...

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
So I guess my question is this: is this the kind of forum where people are allowed to post things suggesting black people are criminals?
First off, no.

Second, an update: the post in question has been deemed racist and deleted.

Third, a little perspective:

I didn't see the original post and questions about it that kept coming all day and I didn't check my mod email until late that night. I'm working from home this week, sick with COVID-19, trying to stay awake to meet deadlines. I love ya, but I'm not here all day. That night I'm hitting the pillow and check my mod email, boom, tons of RTPs from throughout the day. Now I have to try to go through the posts and figure out exactly what is going on and which subsequent posts are germane to the situation and what action(s) to take if any. Bonus, some of the reported posts get a bit nasty toward mods, like "how dare you let this happen" type stuff, with a dash of "if you do Action A, you clearly side with People B" thrown in for good measure. That's always fun. I guess people can do that. I almost prefer that in a PM RTP than the (recently increasing in frequency) public "where are the mods?!" type posts, but whatever. A big part of me thinks, okay, I will deal with this in the A.M. I'm not sure how immediate a response people here can honestly expect from volunteers, but sometimes it takes a little time, people. If you can't be okay with that, I don't know what to tell you.

Then our newest mod makes a call and the thread continues to blow up, mostly with critique. Critique is fine and I can say healthy critique (when it is sincere and not personal) has made me a better mod. And, he's four months on the job, cut him some slack. He didn't ask for me to say that but I'll say it as someone who still feels like the new kid after four years. And I'm really not going to do my best work at 10:30pm at night beyond "take it to feedback" and we can talk about it there, you know?

I can see how it looks like the team just let something sit there all day. I can see how stop "hounding" a poster feels like sweep it under the rug. But that isn't always the case. Sometimes, "I don't want to see [this behavior]" means "Okay, we're looking into it, we need time, hold on." I've made some posts like that here and there but not as much lately because they often get met with "Anything yet?!" posts from people who need things done on their timeline. Then, when things get resolved, those same people don't come back and say, "Thanks for addressing this and sorry if I came off as impatient." That's a bummer. But okay, in the future, I can resume trying to do more "Okay, we're looking into it, we need time, hold on" posts and if people need something more spelled out like that, I can commit to that. That's reasonable. And along with that, people need to give us time on stuff, even if it seems cut and dried to you. Again, we're not paid staff on a set rotation schedule. We're not perfect. We're human volunteers.

Bonus Thought of the Day: In the same three-week window, we're being told we're both 1. cracking down on misogyny too much but 2. not cracking down on racism enough. I don't even know what to do with that.


Last edited by story; 08-10-22 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 08-10-22, 02:47 PM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Originally Posted by joeblow69 View Post
This is a particularly "give them the benefit of the doubt" hot take, that falls apart very quickly, because it relies on the assumption that Trumpers think "black people are unfairly and unjustly targeted by law enforcement". Does Scott Adams believe that? I'm very skeptical.
DVDTalk assumes so called Trumpers are all racist white males, but many Trumpers are black and latino. I've seen black americans even rally behind calling BLM a racist movement and there is even a whole Latinos For Trump slogan I've seen latinos wearing shirts of and such in public.

You may find it surprising but there is actually a lot of Mexican-American citizens across the country that supported Trump and his wall. According to NYTimes in the following link, 1 out of every 3 Latino citizens supported Trump in the 2020 election. A 2017 Gallup poll, for example, found that 67% of Hispanic people said they worried a great deal or a fair amount about illegal immigration - higher than the proportion of non-Hispanic whites (59%) who answered the same way.

Also according to BBC, Trump actually gained a fairly significant increase in Black votes in 2020 compared to the previous election.

Sources:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/02/u...ters-2020.html
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-54972389
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Old 08-10-22, 03:03 PM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Originally Posted by Koby View Post
DVDTalk assumes so called Trumpers are all racist white males, but many Trumpers are black and latino. I've seen black americans even rally behind calling BLM a racist movement and there is even a whole Latinos For Trump slogan I've seen latinos wearing shirts of and such in public.
Yes yes, we know, there are many fine people on both sides. The question is, what was Scott's purpose of tweeting that? Was he really trying to bring attention to the plight of Black Americans and how they are being unjustly targeted by police? Or do you think he was simply trolling, trying to get a rise of out woke dems, so he can say "I'm not racist, YOU'RE the racist one for reading racism into my racist post!" ?
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Old 08-10-22, 03:13 PM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Originally Posted by story View Post
I want to say I appreciate people taking the discussion to Feedback, thank you.

Okay...


First off, no.

Second, an update: the post in question has been deemed racist and deleted.

Third, a little perspective:

I didn't see the original post and questions about it that kept coming all day and I didn't check my mod email until late that night. I'm working from home this week, sick with COVID-19, trying to stay awake to meet deadlines. I love ya, but I'm not here all day. That night I'm hitting the pillow and check my mod email, boom, tons of RTPs from throughout the day. Now I have to try to go through the posts and figure out exactly what is going on and which subsequent posts are germane to the situation and what action(s) to take if any. Bonus, some of the reported posts get a bit nasty toward mods, like "how dare you let this happen" type stuff, with a dash of "if you do Action A, you clearly side with People B" thrown in for good measure. That's always fun. I guess people can do that. I almost prefer that in a PM RTP than the (recently increasing in frequency) public "where are the mods?!" type posts, but whatever. A big part of me thinks, okay, I will deal with this in the A.M. I'm not sure how immediate a response people here can honestly expect from volunteers, but sometimes it takes a little time, people. If you can't be okay with that, I don't know what to tell you.

Then our newest mod makes a call and the thread continues to blow up, mostly with critique. Critique is fine and I can say healthy critique (when it is sincere and not personal) has made me a better mod. And, he's four months on the job, cut him some slack. He didn't ask for me to say that but I'll say it as someone who still feels like the new kid after four years. And I'm really not going to do my best work at 10:30pm at night beyond "take it to feedback" and we can talk about it there, you know?

I can see how it looks like the team just let something sit there all day. I can see how stop "hounding" a poster feels like sweep it under the rug. But that isn't always the case. Sometimes, "I don't want to see [this behavior]" means "Okay, we're looking into it, we need time, hold on." I've made some posts like that here and there but not as much lately because they often get met with "Anything yet?!" posts from people who need things done on their timeline. Then, when things get resolved, those same people don't come back and say, "Thanks for addressing this and sorry if I came off as impatient." That's a bummer. But okay, in the future, I can resume trying to do more "Okay, we're looking into it, we need time, hold on" posts and if people need something more spelled out like that, I can commit to that. That's reasonable. And along with that, people need to give us time on stuff, even if it seems cut and dried to you. Again, we're not paid staff on a set rotation schedule. We're not perfect. We're human volunteers.

Bonus Thought of the Day: In the same three-week window, we're being told we're both 1. cracking down on misogyny too much but 2. not cracking down on racism enough. I don't even know what to do with that.

I appreciate your work here and this post detailing a little on the rationale of the decisions being made and about the behind the scenes communication. Also, hope you get better soon. This type of message gives a little more transparency about everything, specially that this is a volunteer job and that you guys are assessing the situation before taking any action, which is completely understandable.

For future situations like this, it would serve well for the whole community here to post something like ďwe are looking into this situation and weíll make a decision accordinglyĒ. A short message like this in a derailed thread can calm emotions down and let everyone know that you guys are working on it.

I also want to put KurtDís ignore comment into context. Several months ago I was suspended from the forum for 2 months because of an exchange with PerryD that went downhill. It was suggested/recommended to me by PM and email that when I came back I put Perry on my ignore list so we donít cross paths and prevent any further verbal altercations that may lead to another suspension or banning. I felt that Kurtís comment in that thread referred to this and not to actually ignore the comment like everyone else felt it meant. Itís pretty obvious that the post/tweet/comment was out of line and what many like myself consider racist. Like I mentioned in that post, I only saw PerryDís post when it was quoted, something that the forum software canít fix. Of course I was enraged by the post and felt that the comment to stop asking Perry to explain himself was out of pocket but looking back it was the mods asking us to not derail the thread further and that they were looking into it. Either way, everything goes back to communication, something that can always be improved in this forum.

Still, I hope that racists posts and subsequent trolling about it arenít acceptable behavior here because if it is, this will certainly open the DVDTalk to the nastiness we see on social media.
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Old 08-10-22, 03:17 PM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Originally Posted by joeblow69 View Post
Yes yes, we know, there are many fine people on both sides. The question is, what was Scott's purpose of tweeting that? Was he really trying to bring attention to the plight of Black Americans and how they are being unjustly targeted by police? Or do you think he was simply trolling, trying to get a rise of out woke dems, so he can say "I'm not racist, YOU'RE the racist one for reading racism into my racist post!" ?
Honestly I don't know anything about Scott and I don't regularly visit Twitter either. I wasn't trying to debate his motives behind said tweet. It very well could've been meant to be racist and to get a rise out of folks. In my experience that is mostly what Twitter boils down to: hot takes meant to get a reaction one way or the other. I was only pointing out that not all Trumpers are white males despite the assumptions typically made to that degree and that personally I don't find it a reach or to think there are conservatives or trumpers out there who genuinely agrees or believes that blacks are unjustly targeted by police and yet it was being called a "hot take" in this thread that such an assumption could actually be reality. At the end of the day had the poster expressed their views as to why they posted what they did, it would've certainly cleared things up. I don't disagree there.
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Old 08-10-22, 03:24 PM
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Originally Posted by Koby View Post
Honestly I don't know anything about Scott and I don't regularly visit Twitter either.
Don't defend the man if you don't know anything about him. He's nothing but a right wing troll these days. I will admit, there are some trumpers who I would probably give the benefit of the doubt to (though my mind is blanking on that) but Scott is DEFINITELY not one of them.
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Old 08-10-22, 03:30 PM
  #23  
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Originally Posted by joeblow69 View Post
Don't defend the man if you don't know anything about him.
??? I never attempted to defend Scott or what he said. My response was specifically towards your response of maxfishers take in which he explained how someone could read that tweet and not take it as racist, in which you claimed would be a hot take that easily fell apart.

That in no way attempts to defend or explain how Scott himself meant it... Only how someone, could read it and not knowing how Scott thinks and thus not knowing how the tweet was intended it to be taken, actually come away with the thought that it wasn't meant to be racist.
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Old 08-10-22, 03:31 PM
  #24  
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

If I could weigh in on this : I took that Tweet to mean "Black people are unfairly targeted by law enforcement. Now Trump is as well. Maybe they'll start supporting him now because they're kindred spirits." which I don't agree with and don't think is funny, but doesn't strike me as blatantly racist either. Certainly not in the way that people are taking it in this thread.
As I totally off base in that interpretation?
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Old 08-10-22, 03:35 PM
  #25  
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Re: Is blatant racism OK on DVDTalk?

Originally Posted by Koby View Post
That in no way attempts to defend or explain how Scott himself meant it... Only how someone, could read it and not knowing how Scott thinks and thus not knowing how the tweet was intended it to be taken, actually come away with the thought that it wasn't meant to be racist.
I'll give you this: Is it possible that if someone read that tweet in a vacuum that they wouldn't realize Scott's real intent? Sure.
Do I believe the person who posted that was in said vaccum when he posted it? Nah

*edit
I probably replied more about this than it deserved, mainly because I'm just bored at home. Bottom line for me is: Never give right wing trolls (or the people who repost them) the benefit of the doubt.

Last edited by joeblow69; 08-10-22 at 03:55 PM.
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