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Regarding "Moderators Promoting Racism?"

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LOCKED DISCUSSION

After discussing the situation internally with staff and volunteers, we've decided to alter the title and moderator note on the General Topics thread.

While it was our intention only to neutrally mirror the language under discussion by members of the site, several members have made it clear that they feel that moderators using the phrase give it a level of official approval that was particularly upsetting to them. As well, using the phrase in the title of a thread gave it prominence in the board index, making it unavoidable even for those who would choose not to read the thread.

Because the existing Site Talk thread on this topic has started to reach the length where many people (including some staff and moderators) are unable to open it, we're going to lock that thread, but will leave this one open.

-- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

  1. Well done and thanks.

    1. Aloha, Jacquilynne:

      You have done the right thing. Thank you very much.

      I appreciate your hard work in making CH such a great site.

      Mahalo Nui Loa,
      Aloha,
      Kaleo

      1. Oh goodie, now I can redirect all chow mail to my blackberry again, and not fear being bombarded by three messages per nano second. Good job mods! I just knew you would save the day:)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Pixie Muse

          You do know, don't you, that you don't have to get emails when there's a new post?

          1. re: bobcam90

            Did not know Bob. I'm new :) I actually redirected the mail to another email because so many messages were coming in, I couldn't keep up. Thanks Bob

        2. Will await a response from the OP.

          2 Replies
          1. re: DPGood

            Hi, DPGood:

            Well, besides my appreciation to the Mods for doing the right thing, my response is that a good compromise can oftentimes be judged by the fact that no one goes home particularly happy.

            However, all (me, included) should be happy that their free speech rights are the same as they've always been; no one's content was squelched; and the imprimatur of institutional approval that was unintentionally given it by the Mods is gone.

            I wish all well.

            Aloha,
            Kaleo

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Hats off to you, Kaleo. You're a gentleman as well.

          2. boo erns....

            4 Replies
            1. re: petek

              There you are. I have been looking around for you. Here:

              http://images.wikia.com/southpark/ima...

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Ha! Nice one Chem..

                1. re: petek

                  In case you don't know him, he is Ike from South Park the animation show. He is my favorite character (maybe Butters too)

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    TIMMEEE!!!!!

            2. I continue to say that I agree with a lot of what the OP, said in the other thread.

              I'm also a bit surprised by the number of people who desperately hold on to their "right" to use whatever offensive term they want, in the face of others saying it bothers them. I mean, if you dropped F-bombs in front of your grandparents, and called your Grandma a bitch, and Grandpa asked you not to say it because it bothered them, would you in turn tell them that you are trying to hold on to your rights to free speech and are not stopping? Rights aside, that's just manners, when someone tells you that something you are saying or doing is making them uncomfortable, you might consider stopping or at least choosing another word that still fully gets your point across. I'd assume most people's vocabulary around here is not that limited is it?

              Have I used words in the past that I didn't realize were off-putting to some people? Sure thing. But the difference lies in what you choose to do when someone brings that to your attention, and this does not mean you don't get to roll your eyes to yourself afterwards to talk to a friend about how ridiculous that was, if you feel that way.

              In general, in discussions about this type of issue, some people start in with the "people are being too sensitive"...."what's the big deal?"... "It doesn't bother me." .." I'm sick and tired of the PC police telling me what not to say" etc. But yet these same people have no trouble whatsoever with these very statements, in essence speaking for everyone. AKA "You are not allowed to tell me what not to say or what people should be offended by, but I am here to tell you what you shouldn't be offended by".

              I'm a moderator on another forum. Before I became a moderator, I could pretty much say whatever I wanted to on that forum, but everyone knows that the mods are held to a different standard, and we can get our knuckles rapped for saying stuff that members say sometimes and get away with. For example-personally for me, the "R" word is something I really dislike, but some people scatter it throughout their conversation, especially the younger members of that forum. Now imagine that I, as a moderator, opened up a thread with "why is so-and-so being such a retard?" I'd hope someone would call me out on that.

              I do not have a personal history with the word in question, but I did a double take when I saw that thread, and as I said in the other discussion, reading it gave me a case of the icks. And I admit it, and the resulting discussion, changed my perception of this board a little. I find it hard to discuss deliciousness when I have the icks, what can I say.

              85 Replies
              1. re: im_nomad

                "I find it hard to discuss deliciousness when I have the icks."

                If the moderators were to remove anything which might make anyone go "ick", there'd be precious little discussion of deliciousness left. The range of things that offend people is shockingly wide.

                1. re: Jim Leff

                  I don't think that's what's meant. There's Chow-ick and then there's ick. I think the mods made several very good decisions here. YMMV.

                  1. re: Jim Leff

                    Jim, I did not say that the moderators had to remove something simply because it gave me the icks. Several people had the icks in this case. But I made the statement as it had in some aspects, ruined the site for me on an individual level, and is a signal to me on that same level, that maybe its time to take leave of the site, if maybe only for a while.

                    And respectfully, given that the thread you are responding to was initially deleted for using the same word used repeatedly upthread , I'd also say that the mods are already removing things, ick or no ick. I do not think this recent thread modification suddenly crushed all free speech around here or suddenly caused all kinds of thread removals. Thread deletions and locks are not a new thing.

                    1. re: im_nomad

                      You write: "In general, in discussions about this type of issue, some people start in with the "people are being too sensitive"...."what's the big deal?"... "It doesn't bother me." .." I'm sick and tired of the PC police telling me what not to say" etc. But yet these same people have no trouble whatsoever with these very statements, in essence speaking for everyone. AKA "You are not allowed to tell me what not to say or what people should be offended by, but I am here to tell you what you shouldn't be offended by".
                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Saying something that makes someone else "uncomfortable" does not have to mean dropping the F bomb in front of anyone's grandparents. It can be as simple as talking about gays marrying or being an atheist or talking about predator drone strikes or eating veal or being in favor of having the right to burn the US flag in public. All those things are capable of making others extremely uncomfortable. And yet all of them are important topics of discussion with major implications for our society and educational system.

                      Your standard for when one needs to back off of a topic is so broad as to be meaningless in a complex and divisive world. I made the point in the other thread that it is absolutely vital that we keep our freedom of speech free by talking about "uncomfortable" subjects. That right, and the importance of it, completely trumps your "ick" factor. There were plenty of people in this country who got the total "icks" when people of two different races wanted to be married. More than that there were many States that enacted laws against that very idea. After the end of WWII there were many housing tracts built in Southern California that had covenants that forbid Japanese Americans from buying or owning a home there. The thought of Japanese Americans buying a home and moving in next door to non Asians gave those White Americans the "ick" big time. That needed to be talked about, challenged and finally sent packing into the dustbin of history.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        With all respect, could you tell me how this has anything to do with the moderators titling and then retitling a still standing thread?

                        1. re: bobcam90

                          We were discussing the right to "offend" others with certain ideas and/or words like the recently departed "whitey" so I think your question is sort of surprising to me at this point. What is it about my post that is not in keeping with that discussion or im_nomad's post which I referred to?

                          1. re: Servorg

                            No, the mods talked about the title and then a subsequent re-title=ing of that thread. My question is regarding your reply to THEIR subject.

                            1. re: bobcam90

                              Maybe if you quote something I've written here I can figure out what exactly you're referring to and I can then let you know why I wrote it? Otherwise I'm at a loss to figure out what you are talking about.

                              1. re: Servorg

                                How about this?

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7959...

                                What does that have to do with the title of a post? The OPs point had to do with the moderators choice to split the thread and title it the way they did.

                                1. re: bobcam90

                                  I was replying to im_nomad about something that they had written. I'm sure you are aware that sub threads pop up constantly on CH that are tangential to the original post? That's what occurred here.

                        2. re: Servorg

                          Hope some day to express what you expressed about freedom of speech as well as you did. Wasn't a retort, wasn't a put-down, just well said, and so important.

                          1. re: Servorg

                            I feel there is a difference between the example I gave, and those you provided in that there is a difference in what you might expect a reasonable person to be uncomfortable with, and perhaps a not so reasonable person (i.e. a reasonable person would hopefully recognize that while they might be uncomfortable with an issue, that people are perfectly right to push its boundaries-name calling and the like to me doesn't fit that as such). The concept of what is reasonable, or what a reasonable person would generally assume or accept is found in many legal concepts or policies, if I remember correctly from my own work.

                            However, Servorg, I am far too tired of defending every single point I make with you, and we will have to agree to disagree.

                            1. re: im_nomad

                              I'm done also.

                              1. re: im_nomad

                                There have been a few cases in which individuals have (as an example) been ticketed for yelling obscenities in public when children and families have been present that ended up being appealed to the Federal courts. Invariably the courts have ruled for freedom of expression trumping the rights of other not to hear those words.

                                I'm glad to say that we live in one of the few countries where we are free to disagree, and even disagree impolitely with one another. No matter how distasteful we may find that at times, it's one of the most important rights setting this country apart from most of the world. No one is going to jail you and apply electrical shocks to you for getting up on a soapbox in a public park and telling everyone who wanders by how much you hate our elected leaders. Or how you want marriage to be between only one man and one sheep.

                                They may look at you funny. They may heckle you. But they aren't going to convince the police to come and cart you away. So no, I can't agree to disagree with you about the right of free speech and it's importance to our country. It's much too vital a right to casually agree to waive.

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  Servorg, we're not in a court of law. Last time I checked it wasn't illegal for a friend of a restaurant to tell people how great the place is, but that is not allowed around here, right? Lets not confuse forum regulations with the law or constitutional rights.

                                  If I can be honest, we obviously disagree with how this is interpreted. I asked for us to "agree to disagree" because I felt a little like I was being sort of followed for everything I had to say by you and I was hoping we could just stop.

                            2. re: im_nomad

                              I've had users (good, serious chowhounds) threaten to leave the site because we permitted folks to freely take the Lord's name in vain ("God, those muffins are great"). Or because we let people say "Black", rather than "African American". Or "crap". Or "gypped". Or dare utter publicly the name of one of the century's best-selling cookbooks. And lots of other issues that sound incredibly petty, but which "ruin the site" for someone or other. That's the exact phrase I've heard used ad infinitum re: an astounding array of issues. Stumbling upon the word "crap" ruins the site.

                              And everyone's as adamant about their pet sensitivities (however ludicrous and petty-seeming) as you are about yours. So there's no picking and choosing. To protect everyone's delicate sensibilities (and, again, they are myriad), the moderators would need to slash away vast quantities of postings (as opposed to the modest pruning necessary to keep the discussion on-topic and honest). Hundreds per day. Frankly, I can't imagine anyone reasonable even imagining this might be viable.

                              Some users are furious we delete too much. Others are furious we delete too little. I must note that you are the first in chowhound history to complain about both at the same time. You want "free speech" but you don't want anyone to ever offend you. Neat trick.

                              Our policy is: keep it chowy, and however you choose to discuss food is fair game, so long as you don't seem to be intentionally trying to insult anyone. The policy has worked well for many years, though periodically someone goes apeshit (woops, sorry to offend) about his/her language hot buttons, imagining that to be vitally important for everyone to hear about. A chowhound's feelings on lasagna are far more pertinent, useful, and interesting. This is not PiqueHound.

                              I post this as a Chowhound user. I am not officially affiliated.

                              1. re: Jim Leff

                                "I post this as a Chowhound user. I am not officially affiliated."

                                But you say we do this and we do that. Regardless, this was about the CH Team which you are no longer part of deciding to change the title of a thread. I might suggest that you respect the current administration. I think it was a fair call that could not offend a rational person.

                                1. re: bobcam90

                                  I have no authority whatsoever. But Chowhound will always feel like my baby, even if I don't own it or run it (and I burnt out on moderation circa 2001). And I'm very fond and proud of the team running it. So I'll always feel "we" rather than "they", and I hope I'm always at least an honorary part.

                                  It was exactly this potential confusion which led me to note that my opinions and statements are strictly my own.

                                  1. re: bobcam90

                                    personally, I am disappointed but I am neither surprised or offended. the world is as it is.

                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                      The thread is still there, just with a different title. I just sincerely don't get what there is to be disappointed about. And if the CH posture has changed a little bit, so what? Aren't changes inevitable in life?

                                  2. re: Jim Leff

                                    I wanted equal speech Jim, there is a difference. I didn't want to get into the detail because I didn't want the mods to delete me again, but the OP had been referred to by a descriptor by others in this thread. When I said that I had agreed with what the OP had to say, I used the same word in quotation marks aka I did not think the person was as such. My use of the word in quotation marks was deleted while the others remained. It was a creature who lives under a bridge for reference.

                                    This is not a case of "someone used a bad word and offended my delicate sensibilities and now I'm leaving". That is a misunderstanding when it comes to my posts.

                                    And while I really shouldn't care what anyone thinks of me, again, I am not some delicate flower or to use an example above "too irritable for the internet".

                                    1. re: Jim Leff

                                      Hi, Jim:

                                      Couldn't resist...

                                      I take your lapse into use of the second person plural means that you are a Mod? Well, if so, again, you've (second person plural) done the right thing. Thanks.

                                      And I beg to differ about "there's no picking and choosing". There was picking and choosing galore here, initially bad, today lots better. It comes with the territory, sorry.

                                      Refusing to publish or republish racist slurs isn't that difficult a policy to write or implement. It's not the slippery slope you make it out to be. If y'all think it is, my hand is up for ombudsman.

                                      What has always amazed me is the idea that a Mod always knows a poster's intent. In some few cases it may be evident (because self-expressed or they're proven to be a promotional shill), but in many, many other cases, it's not possible at all. Cynical expressions (as I believe iMarilyn's "Whitey" post on Toronto was), sarcastic expressions, comedic ones, literary ones, etc. are rarely transparent enough to judge whether license should be granted or not. It's a hard test to apply in many areas, I grant you, and impossible to get it right consistently.

                                      But racial slurs and epithets are a different animal entirely. They're intrinsically offensive because they stigmatize and rightly offend large numbers of people whose only association with resulting derogatory stereotypes and discrimination is their race. I submit it's a better, more consistent, *and* easier-to-apply standard to just have a formal policy against using racist slurs. Carlinesque as it may sound, if the minds in the CBS legal suite can't compile a list for you, you have but to look at the slur list on Wikipedia for a good starting place. If you want to carve out an exception so that folks can discuss the White Trash Cookbook or Huckleberry Finn, that's not so hard either.

                                      Anyway, if you *could* know my intent, you'd see that I am only trying to help.

                                      Aloha,
                                      Kaleo

                                      1. re: Jim Leff

                                        People who are easily offended should stay far far away from the internet.

                                        1. re: twyst

                                          That's my thinking too.

                                          1. re: twyst

                                            twyst, I don't know what else to say but that having an opinion or preference =/= being easily offended.

                                            1. re: twyst

                                              I don't think this is about being "easily offended," a term, which like "too sensitive" is typically spoken by a person presuming his or her position as the arbiter of acceptable offence and sensitivity.

                                              Moreover, it's not even about the Internet. The fact is, it's about a debate that arose within an online community that convenes at this site. The debate allowed the members of the community to review and renegotiate what is acceptable discourse. For example, I expect to see certain things on ogrish.com that I would be very much troubled to see on Chowhound. Sometimes, when we take part in a community, we need to determine what makes members of that community comfortable in continued participation-- within reason. What might be considered a form of alienating hate speech directed against a group of people is something that should be examined.

                                              I'm not offended by the word "whitey" as racist in itself-- that is, emblematic of a historical legacy of racism against white people to have manifested in institutional violence.

                                              However, it was inflammatory, ignorant, and in its own way, invited generalised sloppy thinking in all realms. (Suddenly, it was bringing blanket assumptions to anything non-white.)

                                              As for the discussion of curse words below, I have to say that I'm certainly not a retiring fleur. In fact, I'm a potty mouth of the highest order. But I do pick my arenas in which to use these words in respect for the community that participates. (Someone not wishing to hear me effing and jeffing all over the place is not exactly restricting my rights to survival or dignity, so I'm not going to get all bothered there.)

                                        2. re: Jim Leff

                                          Off the top of my head, some of the things I've read in the past few years that have offended groups of people here:

                                          Use of any swearing, including WTF
                                          Use of internet acronyms
                                          Children being called "brats"
                                          Servers being called "waitrons"
                                          Obama ads
                                          15% tippers being called cheapskates or worst
                                          Over tippers being called show offs
                                          Talking about uses for chef boyardee, other "inferior" processed foods
                                          chains
                                          all women as bad tippers
                                          Penny from Food Network Stars as a member of Al Qaeda
                                          Bringing your own ribs to a dinner
                                          Alice Waters

                                          For all of them, it's never been just one poster, but several. In a board with thousands of posts, the moderators have to go through each complaint and decide. If they decide against the will of one poster, the take away lesson is the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

                                          1. re: chowser

                                            chowser, you will have to excuse me for seeing a difference between getting bent out of shape over canned goods, and a not-so-positive racial descriptor.

                                            But that is besides the point, if the defense here is that the thread in question couldn't have been deleted because the mods can't bow to every little thing that people are offended by. The problem is, is that they regularly do delete comments and threads for these reasons, in addition to reasons that escape everyone. If you're going to take the stance that you won't delete everything that people get bent out of shape over, well then, stick to that. Be consistent.

                                            1. re: im_nomad

                                              I never said anything about being bent out of shape over canned goods so I don't know what you're talking about with that. Parents have been seriously offended by their children being called brats. As was argued by many in the other thread, vilenes is vileness. Your line in the sand is your line. Others didn't see it that way. Who's the final arbitor? I was very offended, as were many others who responded, with the post about Penny being Middle Eastern and therefore a member of Al Qaeda, ready to whip out her weapons to kill Americans. The post remained. Maybe I should have made a bigger fuss over it. I'm on the more sensitive side of it all--if it were up to my sensitivities, a good number of posts would be deleted. But, I don't hold my line in the sand and the only one.

                                              1. re: chowser

                                                Ironically, I have to add, the whitey title remains on the board while the more substantive discussion is gone.

                                                1. re: chowser

                                                  Here's the original thread with the title changed:

                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/795444

                                                  The Site Talk thread is there but locked with this thread taking its place.

                                                  1. re: bobcam90

                                                    Hmmm, if you go to General CH on the second page, I see the title about whitey (I can't remember the name of the post) with 0 posts but the final post from the CH Team. I can't pull up the post, though. I do find the title better. The other was just an odd choice of words.

                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                      Unfortunately there's a broken version of that thread -- the software glitched when it was split -- that we can't open or remove either.

                                                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                        That is just simply the lamest response I ever heard. Fix your software. It's not gravity, you know.

                                                        1. re: monfrancisco

                                                          Not sure what I find more amusing:

                                                          1) The whitey thread still exists
                                                          2) nobody has posted on it in 2 days. If we had just ignored it, it would have slipped away on it's own.
                                                          3) people are still upset that a completely unimportant thread exists.

                                                2. re: chowser

                                                  The canned goods was re chef boyardee.

                                                  And while my point on this doesn't seem to be coming across very clearly, but I do not expect my own personal lines in the sand to be catered to. I would rather see a board full of offensiveness than one where some things are picked off and others (like your example) remain with no clear line as to the difference.

                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                    I thought I would just read this interesting discussion instead of post, but I do want to correct this. The original comment about Penny and Al Qaeda and the subsequent discussion were indeed deleted from that thread.

                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                      It took a day after I reported it (and reported it again when it was not removed). I am pretty certain the removal came before the debate, but then I just noticed this debate today.

                                                  2. re: im_nomad

                                                    No. Moderating an online forum to keep it on-topic and honest is the least intervention one can possibly do. Moderating an online forum to keep all parties unoffended is the MOST intervention one can do. There is no comparison. The former is often dubbed "censorship" by trolls. The latter truly is censorship, in every possible meaning of the word.

                                                    Racial descriptors happen to be your particular hot button. I can assure you, from my experience in talking to (and being screamed at) by thousands of piqued message board users, that everyone is just as hot about their hot buttons as you are about yours. Seriously. And the single most offensive thing one can do is tell people that their hot button issue is less egregious than some other hot button issue. That's the very ultimate in perceived "insensitivity". I'm amazed I'd even need to point this out, much less have trouble making it register.

                                                    Look how angry you are at me, for example, just from the mere whiff of implication that I might find your concerns petty. I actually don't, either, FWIW! I hate racial epithets (though there's plenty more I hate just as much). So I'm not telling you not to be offended, I'm just telling you to stop expecting people to hew to your sensitivities. Because this is a huge community, and everyone has different sensitivities, and everyone's especially sensitive - as are you - to even the implication that their concerns are petty. Angry raging offended piqued people demand, above all, to be taken very very seriously. But you're only taking your particular issue seriously. How insensitive!

                                                    It is, repeat, IMPOSSIBLE to insulate everyone from the things that mortally offend them, in this or any other sort of community. Consider: nobody ever says "kike" or "fuck" on CBS. It's pre-censored, and quite tightly so. Do you imagine for a sec that CBS doesn't nonetheless receive thousands of FURIOUS mails per week by folks offended by all sorts of stuff - who've had their days absolutely ruined by yadda yadda? Is it asking to much to suggest that you look beyond your sputtering rage on this pet issue and realize that all sorts of people rage just as sputteringly on all sorts of other issues? Is that really so hard to grok? If you CAN grok it, then you have to acknowledge that people need to cool out and talk about food, because otherwise this becomes PiqueHound. And nobody will/should try to insulate you from language you don't like. It's not going to happen, because it's absolutely unviable, and MANY more people would be pissed off and offended by any such attempt than if we just said, as the site always has, that any language is ok so long as there's no intent to insult.

                                                    My point is phenomenally obvious, plus I've rephrased and clarified a number of times. Yet I sense a willful reluctance to comprehend. So The Incensed can have the last word, I'm out of this discussion. I'm just one step away from finally finding Azerbaijani potato lulya kebabs in Brooklyn (which I believe - not totally sure - to be akin to flame-broiled potato pancakes), and I need to direct my attention fully to that.

                                                    1. re: Jim Leff

                                                      "Just look at how angry you are with me".... lol okayyyyy. I disagree that any of my exchanges with you in this thread were about me being angry with you, which I'm not, and heated discussions do not anger make.

                                                      1. re: Jim Leff

                                                        Hi, Jim:

                                                        Racial slurs should be everyone's hot button, or one of them. Me, you, the gal down the street, CBS management, its advertisers, everybody.

                                                        If you find those kebabs, don't try your moral relativism out on the guy selling them, by calling him an "ABCD". Wouldn't play well in Brooklyn.

                                                        Back to food now.

                                                        Aloha,
                                                        Kaleo

                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                          Swearing should be everyone's hot button, also. There are children who come on the boards and for them to read "f" this or whatever should be a concern to everyone. Not just for children but there have been threads from CHers who've complained about it. It's indefensible that there are so many more articulate words to express our feelings that people need to resort to it. Me, you, the gal down the street (or even possibly a woman), CBS management, its advertisers, everyone should be concerned about it. You'd never see someone on CBS getting away with saying the F word, or calling a woman a "C". CH needs to take a stand on that, too.

                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                            Hi, chowser:

                                                            Go for it.

                                                            But don't you think that if any poster here called you something as vile and misogynist as a "C", the post (and the poster) would be gone forever?

                                                            My point is that CH already *has* taken a stand on this. Or perhaps you know of an instance where a Mod dropped the "C-bomb" on someone?

                                                            Aloha,
                                                            Kaleo

                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                              "any poster here called you something as vile and misogynist as a "C", the post (and the poster) would be gone forever"

                                                              Just taking this offtrack for a second since you bought it up. No to your question. That post will probably be taken down, but the poster will not be gone forever.

                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                Calling someone the "C" word would be deleted immediately. However, if I said that there was a C-word working as my waitress.......No, I don't tnink it should be deleted.

                                                                1. re: donovt

                                                                  Whether you think it should be or not, I'm betting it would be.

                                                                  1. re: bobcam90

                                                                    You're very possibly correct, doesn't change how I feel about it.

                                                                2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                  Had your argument been that the moderators should not use racial epithets in titles, or at all for that matter, I would have completely agreed. However, your approach to this was to accuse them of racism and your agenda was apparent when you posted about "darkeys" or whatever you did. That's completely irrelevant to the first part about racial epithets being wrong. Would you have been happy if your thread were allowed to remain? That seemed to be the point you were making. If someone posted about women being "C's" it wouldn't matter to me at all whether men could be called pricks or worst. Both are wrong. You were more concerned about the reverse discrimination aspect of it than the use of offensive racist words. As I said many times in the other thread, I agree that the terms are offensive, I don't believe in the reverse discrimination "victim" part.

                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                    Exactly. So the mods are racism promoters and Jim Leff is lacking moral character.

                                                                3. re: chowser

                                                                  <There are children who come on the boards and for them to read "f" this or whatever should be a concern to everyone.>

                                                                  Absolutely. And while we're banning swearing, we should abolish the Wine, Beer & Spirits boards, because their existence might give the children the idea that it's okay for them to drink alcohol. Further, it seems prudent to eliminate all discussion of knives and other sharp objects from Cookware - children might try to use these items themselves, and sustain injuries. For similar reasons, I would also strongly suggest limiting the Home Cooking board to topics other than cooking, as stoves and ovens can get very hot.

                                                                  1. re: small h

                                                                    First the children drink the wine and beer and then they run through the house with sharp knives, cursing up a storm. Can there be a more serious issue that we ought to be spending 24/7/365 here on Chowhound? I mean, the racial slurs are just going to have to wait. After all, no minorities or even majorities were actually harmed in the discussion of the "white peoples" food thread...

                                                                  2. re: chowser

                                                                    Oh, please. Protect the innocent children? Not the function of CH. And if anyone ever posts here calling a woman a cunt and doesn't get banned for life, I would be amazed.

                                                                    1. re: bobcam90

                                                                      +1

                                                                      i dont think i have ever come across any children posting on here..at least everybody i come into contact with claims to be an adult...

                                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                                        And if anyone ever posts here calling a woman a cunt and doesn't get banned for life, I would be amazed.
                                                                        ___________________________________

                                                                        I doubt a post would be deleted simply because it contained the word "cunt".

                                                                        If the post said, "ipsedixit is a cunt" then, yes, it might get deleted.

                                                                        However, if the post said, "that restaurant that ipsedixit recommended tasted like my last girlfriend's cunt after that certain time of the month" it would not.

                                                                        Criticize the chow, not the chowhound. So the Mods always say.

                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                          Hi, ipse:

                                                                          OK, take a hypothetical. Your daughter is the widely-known restaurant reviewer's GF. The Mods give it it's own title: "Does the Food At X Taste Like Bloody GF C_____?

                                                                          Or another: Someone characterizes a chef's work as a "flexing of C____ muscles." Mods are in-bounds to slit and title: "Chef Shelley Flexing Her C____ Muscles?"

                                                                          Still OK? Is it an attack on the Chow or the Chowhound?

                                                                          Aloha,
                                                                          Kaleo

                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                            Still OK? Is it an attack on the Chow or the Chowhound?
                                                                            __________________

                                                                            Still OK.

                                                                            Vulgar, maybe.

                                                                            But it is attack on the Chow, not the Chowhound.

                                                                      2. re: chowser

                                                                        You'd never see someone on CBS getting away with saying the F word, or calling a woman a "C". CH needs to take a stand on that, too.
                                                                        ______________________

                                                                        TV (which is regulated by the FCC) and the Internet are completely (and I can't stress "completely" enough) different.

                                                                        For lack of a better way of saying it, there are no standards on the Internet. Short of something illegal (such as child porn or copyrighted digital intellectual property), a person can post and do just about anything they want.

                                                                        If a parent does not want their child reading or seeing profanity, they should disconnect all Internet connectivity in their homes.

                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                          Yes, I was bringing that up because the whole incident was apparently reported to CBS.

                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                            Yes, I was bringing that up because the whole incident was apparently reported to CBS.
                                                                            _________________

                                                                            So what? The medium is still the Internet, not the public airwaves.

                                                                      3. re: kaleokahu

                                                                        Those with prejudice deep in their marrow cannot be changed, let them die away. You and others cannot beat them with liberal enlightenment into submission, or otherwise persuade them. Let them articulate their vitriol, and the world will separate them into a lonely corner.

                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                          Hi, veggo:

                                                                          The racist dies, of course, hating, spent of vitriol, 'til twist fingers slack. Passed along before, torch's for others, sheets to don, in utter blindness. To articulate anon. And kill.

                                                                          The world, in mute witness, butchered as before. E Ala E!

                                                                          Aloha,
                                                                          Kaleo

                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                            I prefer to believe we are more progressive to succeeding generations.

                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                              Pray that it be so.

                                                                              The historical figure to whom I've been compared here is *one* generation behind me.

                                                                              Pray hard.

                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                vaya con dios, hermano

                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                  I pray that my sons generation sees much less discrimination than mine did. I definitely have seen less than my parents. However, I don't think it will be by obstructing certain words that this will happen. I've heard some foul language and opinions expressed about members of different races by friends and family throughout my life. I've chosen to let my own experiences speak for themselves. I don't believe that if my son never hears the "N" word he will not be racist. But I hope that he hears the "N" word and finds it as despicable as I do.

                                                                                  1. re: donovt

                                                                                    I pray that all of the next generation can obey laws. Hegemony would disappear. But the beat goes on.

                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                      Not sure I understand your point.

                                                                                      1. re: donovt

                                                                                        I'm not sure why you don't understand my point. We can all get along if we obey laws and talk with civility to each other, no?

                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                          There was a time where it was perfectly legal to treat other races with utter disrespect. I guess bringing legality into it threw me off.

                                                                                          1. re: donovt

                                                                                            I think we are the best in the world for impartial justice in the courtroom. If not America, who is better?

                                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                                              Ahh, but not all of us are in America.

                                                                                              I find legality to have little to do with morality. I want my son to respect other people because it's right. Not because he's legally required to.

                                                                                              My thoughts are the same regarding religion. I was taught that if you didn't behave a certain way you would go to hell. I spent a large part of my life doing things not because I believed them to be right, but because I was frightened of the consequences of not doing them.

                                                                            2. re: Veggo

                                                                              Veggo, I don't think kaleokahu is trying to change anyone. Just a baby step of not having a racial slur in the title of a CH thread. And the mods allowed us a huge platform to discuss it and they changed the title of the thread. I'm satisfied; what about you kaleokahu?

                                                                              1. re: bobcam90

                                                                                I'm sassified, if I may borrow from Clarence Carter. But I am not easily rattled.

                                                                                1. re: bobcam90

                                                                                  I think we are all happy.

                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                    I'm not!! all my posts now are being removed, even canadian history for some reason is offensive

                                                                                  2. re: bobcam90

                                                                                    Hi, bobcam90:

                                                                                    I am grateful that the Mods took this step forward, even if they cannot or will not call their split post title a mistake, a step backward. No one tried to deny anyone any rights here--that's another hidden bonus. Everyone here is just as free to "speak" as they would have before; what has changed is that CH has taken a step toward not participating in, or giving tacit support to, racist speech. How can anyone be UNhappy with that?

                                                                                    The VERY good news surrounding all of this (a victory for all), is that We The Posters have been given an opportunity to really "fight" something out without threads and posts disappearing. To me, it's very much like learning the lesson of "The coverup is always worse than the crime" insofar as CH allowed some dirty laundry to be aired. In days past, the lock would have been applied 'WAY short of 540 posts, and the reason given might have been one of the one-size-fits-alls, like "Folks this thread has grown pretty hostile, it's not about Chow. We're going to lock it."

                                                                                    To their great credit (and in my admiration), the Mods did not do that in this case. They let us fully express ourselves very much in the way diplomats euphemistically describe as "free and frank" discussion.

                                                                                    And for your parts (I exclude myself, for there are things I said here I would now like to say differently), the posters themselves went out of their ways *not* to trigger the old, knee-jerk truncation of threads. Together, the posters and Mods managed (unless I missed something) not to have one post pulled down. This may, depending on what follows, be a small coming-of-age for a site that was already very, very, very good (Thank you Jim, Jacquilynne, CBS and all).

                                                                                    These last two boons are, more than anything else in this, what please me the most.

                                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                      WOW. I don't have the talent that you do but, if I did, I'd have said this. I consider this subject a total win.

                                                                                      1. re: bobcam90

                                                                                        Interesting. I consider it a complete waste of time, coupled with requisite back slapping and fist pumping.

                                                                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                          You said it.

                                                                                          Truly, the most depressing thing for me about this whole affair has been the notion of moral victory declared by a poster who believes that the word "whitey" used stupidly but not as hate speech is as offensive and racist as use of the word "nigger."

                                                                                          It boggles the mind.

                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                            Why wasn't the original post redirected to topic, the accusatory post deleted for being off topic and handled btwn the Mods & the CH directly via email behind the scenes?

                                                                                            What were CH readers suppose to glean from this excercise?

                                                                                            Is this site STILL about eating great food or not? Amazing!

                                                                                          2. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                            Hi, invinotheresverde:

                                                                                            Then thank you for wasting your valuable time posting on such a waste-of-time thread.

                                                                                            I once had a thread deleted from Wine because I OP'd the legitimate and sincere question of whether a vegetarian could be a credible sommelier, at least without disclosure to omnivorous diners. It was apparently interpreted by the Mods as an attack on someone, although I did not intend it to be so. I raise this now because, until this "whitey" trainwreck, we had a moderation culture here of zapping anything that could possibly be guessed to be personal, yet allowed entire social and racial groups to be slurred wholesale. When the Mods actively became party to a slur, I had to act. Thankfully, a mustard seed has now sprouted.

                                                                                            So we differ that the exercise was been a waste of time.

                                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                                        2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                          Yes, there were ‘pulled down’ posts. Mine was one.

                                                                                          When I emailed the mods asking why, they said a comment I had added a “+1” to was deleted and my post looked now looked like I was agreeing with changing the word. I was welcome to repost.

                                                                                          I initially said thanks for the explanation, but no. I had promised someone I respect very much that I wouldn’t comment anymore. I’d rather skip chiming in than give the appearance of going back on my promise.

                                                                                          Sleeping on it, I think it may have been fate that post was deleted. Otherwise I never would have said this which is different from my original deleted post.

                                                                                          I’m sorry for going back on my promise, but there is a far more important issue here than that, Chowhound and how they run the site and racism.

                                                                                          It is the foundation of this country. Freedom of speech … even despicable speech.

                                                                                          That’s always been an abstract idea to me. I never truly understood what it meant until living a year in a country without it.

                                                                                          Freedom to speak … it IS worth dying for. Without it there is no hope.

                                                                                          Even as a VERY Liberal, I was turned off by Supreme Court decisions supporting despicable speech. I now realize the brilliance of these justices. They and our founding fathers knew something I didn’t comprehend. How important that right is.

                                                                                          I would be failing as an American not to speak out now. People have died for this. I would be a coward otherwise. There is the old chestnut about the consequences of good people doing nothing.

                                                                                          Yes, Chowhound can do as it likes. What disturbs me more is your crusade about this. So I’m talking to you and to all the people who throw away that right for their own personal hot button and ask you to consider which is more important.

                                                                                          If you can not do that, I know lots of Guatemalan people who would welcome you in their homes to live a year. That might clarify what this constitutional right means. Getting up close and personal is far different than vacationing.

                                                                                          While only using the first letters, you have felt comfortable throwing insulting racial and sexual slurs. By writing n_____, that is nigger. By darkey, which you felt comfortable enough to post in a deleted topic to make your point, you meant nigger.

                                                                                          How sexual slurs got thrown into this, I’m not sure. As a woman, I’m not pleased to see the C word, or cunt, introduced in the name of defending women’s honor. And by c___, that means cunt.

                                                                                          I lived through the era of the civil rights movement and woman’s liberation. And in all that time, the crusaders for these causes never stepped on our right to free speech in order to restrict despicable terms.

                                                                                          They made their stands where it mattered, legally challenging the right to jobs, housing, education etc. Call me a cunt, but when I can’t be refused a job because of my sex, it goes to reason no one with brains will call their boss that.

                                                                                          If anyone really wants to eliminate racism or sexism, don’t be a racist or sexist. Don’t use that speech even veiled as n___ or c___. The point could have been made without doing that.

                                                                                          Did your really believe that by letting the word ‘whitey’ stand, it would open the door to allowing racial and sexual slurs on the site? See I don’t need to repeat the words to make that point.

                                                                                          People who would use those terms do so to personally attack people. Chowhound has that covered in the site rules … “Personal attacks and offensive language aimed at other posters are not permitted. Again: "Hate the chow, love the chowhound."

                                                                                          They would be deleted as your posts using those terms were deleted.

                                                                                          The original poster who used ‘whitey food’, wasn’t attacking anyone, just using it as a term just as white trash cooking is used.

                                                                                          The term white trash is offensive to some. As far as I know, I’ve never seen anyone on Chowhound who takes umbrage to the term, take it to the level to make a point by posting the equivalent using a racist term. See that again? I didn’t need to use the words even without blanking out letters to make my point.

                                                                                          As I have said, Chowhound has been a major way to promote racial equality by the very fact of inviting us to virtually sit down at the table and break bread with each other. It is hard to hurl slurs face to face.

                                                                                          Even the poster who made the “whitey comment” explained what that meant and everyone moved on. IIRC, some restaurants serving that type of food were recommended as well as other cuisines and the end result will be people stepping in each other’s worlds, breaking bread and barriers.

                                                                                          I’m amused that the software broke and a “whitey” topic appears out there unable to be deleted. It is almost like divine intervention weighing in on what would have been the really correct thing to do.

                                                                                          On an almost lower level, even network television has allowed racial and sexual slurs or have we forgotten Archie Bunker or The Jefferson’s? That was a very strong stand on the issue that used humor to show the ignorance of people who use that type of language. They didn’t need to step on the constitution to make that point.

                                                                                          On the level of Chowhound … let the rules work. They have for years.

                                                                                          On the bigger issue … let the constitution work.

                                                                                          To paraphrase you, everyone loses on this decision, even if they don’t know it yet … and it goes far beyond Chowhound.

                                                                                          As in the deleted post, I’m not going to respond to any comments on this or comment further.

                                                                                          1. re: rworange

                                                                                            rw, we have disagreed in the past about various topics, but I feel the need to commend you on such an eloquent, poignant post. It's really the end all, be all of the discussion. Thank you.

                                                                                  3. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                    "And nobody will/should try to insulate you from language you don't like."

                                                                                    We've just learned that isn't true, though.

                                                                                2. re: chowser

                                                                                  It's interesting that you should include "all women as bad tippers" in this list,because unlike the others listed (save for the weird Penny thing), each one of these sources of outrage was about an action or behaviour, and not about a blanket assumption laid on an entire segment of the population.

                                                                                  That is, the assumptions about women and Penny fall into attacks on who one is rather than what one does.

                                                                                  Also, not all of these were about offence, but about heated opinions. There's a difference.

                                                                            3. Hats off to Kalao, the original OP, and to the moderators.

                                                                              1. Funny. I guess the mods are fine with letting our personal language nazi here go on and on about some other poster's girlfriend's "bloody c____", but I can't say that as a woman, I am not offended by the word cunt?

                                                                                Cheesesfuckingchristmas.

                                                                                1. One upping each other with more and more examples of things you think you should be moderated for and things you think you shouldn't be moderated for is really not taking this conversation anywhere. It seems like between the last thread and this one, everyone's pretty much had their say, so we're going to lock it now.