New "Let It Go" Rule in GD?

In this thread in Great Debates you with the face used personal insults toward me several times. Someone else, perhaps more than one, called attention to it. Although Tom was posting to that thread, he said nothing about it.

I reported her most damning post as Tom often suggested that we do. And because I saw someone “Moderated” for calling someone else a “goofball,” in another thread, I called it to his attention in the Pit.

Instead of her insulting remarks being called to her attention, both sides were scolded for “fighting.”

When I pointed out to Tom that I had said nothing insulting to anyone, he agreed.

you with the face, on the other hand. said that I am ignorant of race relations. She is aware that not only is that an insult, but it is a blatant lie. I asked for and was assigned to teach in an innercity high school that was 90% black before you with the face even had a face or a racial identity. When I retired from teaching after twenty years for health reasons, she was still in elementary school.

At the time that I started teaching, I faced things that she never had to face – the very real fear of bombs in the schools. There was a bomb that exploded in one of our feeder schools the year before I started teaching. And the teachers had to stay and look for bombs for a long time whenever a threat was made. There was another bomb that was dismantled that was one block from my classroom that explosive experts said would have taken out a city block if it had not been found.

I had to cross picket lines of protesting parents when white students were bused in. I had to pack up a school and move it out when black kids were moved out. (The janitors had it in their contracts that they did not have to move books. The teachers didn’t.)

I was in the hallway when a student poured mimeograph fluid down the hall and was about to set fire to the building. I have been in a building that was on fire and the principal didn’t turn on the alarm. I’ve had a student threaten to slit my throat. I was beaten up by trespassers and hospitalized for three days.

But I sent a kid to Harvard and kids to Vanderbilt and even to the Board of Trustees at Vanderbilt. And Rory danced with me down the hall when he passed his proficiency test. And parents and kids hugged me and cried at graduation or they do still when we recognize each other in a store or on the street. I had wonderful, wonderful times.

And I never had one single fight in my room in those twenty years. Not one. I did take a knife away from a student.

So when you when the face said I was ignorant of race relations, I knew that she was talking out her ass and that she knew she was. Besides, she needs to be aware that there is more than one race to relate to. I continue to relate to several in the neighbohood that I choose to live in. We are very multicultural. She should be so lucky.

Did Tom say anything to her for saying I was ignorant of race relations? No. He says I should “let it go.”

She also said that I am stupid and that others here think I am stupid. She mischaracterized my argument into the exact opposite of what I was saying. She twisted something else by saying I had implied it was eeevilll. She described my posts as being “madness.”

Finally, she quoted me as having said words that I never said. She just made something up entirely and put quotation marks around it: “you’re deliberating misunderstanding me, you big ole meanie.”

There was still no word of moderation.

A word fight without insults was what I used. Isn’t there a name for that?

Making rules that are enforced on whelm is poor, Tom.

Your email suggestion of how to deal with this was unbelievably condescending and indicates to me that you have absolutely little grasp of some of the issues I’ve mentioned recently. Try to find something more sexist and ageist next time. It also lets me know how insignificant this is to you. It is not to me.

Zoe, i haven’t participated in either of the other threads on this subject, but i’ve read them, and i just wonder what you hope to get out of starting yet another Pit thread on the subject?

I understand that you’re upset, that you feel that there has been some poor moderating, and that you also seem to feel that your credentials as a good and decent person have somehow been called into question. It seems to me, though, that you’re conflating the moderating issue with your personal integrity issue, and as a result are not dealing with either one very well.

For what it’s worth, i don’t think anyone is interested in denigrating your experiences or your education or your work or your level of humanity. I don’t think that anyone thinks you’re a racist. I certainly don’t, even though i would argue with a few of the things you said in the GD thread. If you’re worried that this whole incident somehow taints you in the eyes of other people on the board, then i think you’re worrying unnecessarily.

As for the moderating issue, i understand where you’re coming from. While being called “ignorant” and having your arguments called “madness” might technically skate past the Insult Meter in GD, terms like that can certainly seem to be personally insulting. The problem with a word like “ignorant” is that, depending on how it’s used and in what spirit, it can be merely descriptive (referring to someone’s lack of knowledge), or it can be quite insulting (implying not only lack of knowledge, but wilfull lack of knowledge, and even stupidity). And it’s worse when it comes from someone else. I’m happy to admit that i am ignorant about some subjects, but i still bristle if someone calls me ignorant.

Anyway, i just wanted to suggest that maybe it really is worth just letting this one go now. Your calmness and your good nature have always been obvious in your contributions here, which is why your obvious distress over this matter is so startling. It seems, from your OP here, that your main concern now is defending your personal integrity, and countering any perceptions that you might be racially ignorant or insensitive. Well, i don’t think you should worry on that score, and would be best served by putting the whole thing behind you.

That’s just my 2c.

The other day, a kid came up to me on the playground and told me that another kid was calling her (fairly silly) names. I gave her the advice that I’ve given a dozen times on the playground:

“Is Kailah’s opinion really important to you?”
“Do you know what ‘triflin’ means?”
“It’s when someone is just being silly and petty. Is Kailah being triflin?”
“I agree. Now, there’s a response that I give people when they’re being triflin, and it works really well, but you have to say it exactly as I say it. So listen carefully. Are you listening?”
“Okay, here it is.” At this point, I roll my eyes and adopt my most contemptuous, bored look. “Pfffft! Got that? That’s what you say to someone who’s being triflin.”
The kid generally grins and runs off at this point.

Zoe, is ywtf’s opinion really that important to you? Is ywtf being triflin? If so, I’ve got something you can say to her that will solve it.

FWIW, I agree that she’s being triflin. She’s very smart and insightful, but man alive does she never back down, not that I’ve seen. In this case, it seems to me that her opinion of you is her problem, not yours. My “pffft” advice isn’t advice I always follow when I should, but if you can, it’d probably be to your benefit.


Had similar experience. Moderation by that dude is a joke. You’re right.

I was extremely puzzled by the dust up in that thread between **ywtf **and Zoe. It seemed like semantic quibble turned into a huge personal issue. I think “let it go” is the right thing to do. Both of you guys are intelligent, thoughtful poster here whose insights I value. Getting stuck on whether the “one drop rule” was literally about blood (it wasn’t) obscures the bigger issue-- the fact that race relations in large parts of the US were defined for a long time by Whites trying to set up some type of impermeable barrier to keep anyone with a known Black ancestor separate from White society. It wasn’t about testing blood, which no one could do anyway, but about probing a person’s ancestry. Maybe there were exceptions made from time to time, but the general rule was that you weren’t accepted in White society if you were suspected to have had a Black ancestor.

At no time did I intend any condescension and I have not yet responded to your last correspondence because I had not figured a way to say what I intended without you taking it the wrong way. Apparently, that will still be true.

I’m sorry you feel aggrieved, but I have a somewhat different perspective of that thread than you do.

youwiththeface and amarinth had an exchange (in which I suspect they were talking past each other to a certain extent) to which you responded with post #49. In that post, you made an odd comment that no one could identify a situation of “one drop.” The phrase has been used for years to indicate that anyone with any non-white ancestry was considered to have been not white. Challenging the use of that phrase on the grounds that one could not find an actual “one drop,” (an assertion that no one had made), simply seemed odd and appeared to be a challenge to the idea that a one drop rule had existed.
You then made it a point to tell youwithtthe face and jsgoddess (who was not even involved in the exchange) that they should “consider” that not everyone felt the same way on related issues. Unfortunately, you did not support your (implied) accusation of how they saw the world in any meaningful way. You may or may not have been correct regarding their views, but I strongly suspect, (based on a lack of presented evidence) that they saw your statement as a personal attack rather than a debate point.
You then explicitly claimed that youwiththeface had identified persons mentioned in her exchange with amarinth as “white bigots” when she had not done anything of the sort.

In herimmediate reply, youwiththeface responded (none too politlely, but without breaking any rules) that her point to amarinth was different than your interpretation. She then dismissed your complaint against the “one drop” rule as being without foundation, further pointing out that your extraneous claim about whites and curly hair had no basis.

Again, she was hardly polite, but she was responding to a perceived attack that included errors of understanding (regarding her opinions) and errors of fact (regarding the one drop rule).

Later, in a passing comment in an exchange with RedFury she made the comment

to which you took great exception in your response in post #58. So, having accused youwiththeface of having portrayed some unknown people as “white bigots,” you then take umbrage at the fact that she characterized that portrayal as evil, going so far as to demand that she debate your statements “honestly.” (Did you not consider a claim that a person is a white bigot to be evil? Did you consider your statement that she had described someone as “white bigots” to be honest?)

At that point you had both made assumptions about the intent of the other poster and were getting upset when they made similar assumptions about each of you and my perspective is that a bit more courteous questioning and fewer efforts to assign unspoken statements to the other person would have gone a long way to reducing the heat in the thread.

While no one had actually broken any rules, I cannot say that either of you was doing anything to encourage rational discourse.

You then turned around and submitted the very next post in the thread, demanding to know why she attributed evil motives to you and to others when, in fact, she had not attributed any motives to you, at all.
You followed that up with a further demand to know how the “one drop rule” could have been enforced, (which to the outside reader would indicate that you really were ignorant of its meaning and use). I really do not know the point of your question since I presume that you were well aware of the one drop rule and no poster had made any claim that anyone physically (or literally) tested for a single drop of non-white blood.

youwiththeface later responded in Post #61, noting that she was, indeed, talking about all people in the U.S., not just whites, when she described attitudes, further explaining that she was describing her personal experience, and making a point of saying that she was not describing you, personally, at all.
She then made the point of describing the one drop rule and its implications. She expressed surprise at your apparent ignorance of the topic, then provided actual information and citations to support her statements.

Following that, I provided some citations for the one drop rule. Then you replied with another attack on the concept of the physcal impossibility of the one drop rule (as if that had anything to do with anything).

Then there was a general discussion among you, monstro, and FinnAgain to which I threw in one smartassed comment about our society still not treating people equally, then I left the board.

When I returned, several borderline insults had been lodged and you had persisted in your odd attack on the one drop rule while making a point of taking umbrage at the way you had been addressed. Rather than get out the ticket book and wander through counting up who had posted the most egregious offenses, I simply told everyone to knock it off.

If that offends your sense of fair play, I am sorry, but I am more interested in getting everyone to play nice than I am in keeping a record of every twitch over a line.

Did youwiththeface step over the line? Yes. Was it unprovoked? Not in my view. From your second post in the thread you made it a point to ascribe opinions to other posters that were either not posted in that thread or that appear to have been misunderstandings of statements they did make. You never stepped over the line to use insulting words, but you certainly conveyed opinions about them that were far from flattering–opinions that do not appear to have been supported by their actual statements.

[yanking off the kid gloves]

This is flat-out ridiculous, Zoe. Ri-dic-u-lous.

Your descent into madness began with this one quote:

How were you discriminated against? Since when does disagreeing with a person become tantamount to discrimination? As soon as you started nailing yourself upon a cross, my own opinion of you dropped a few points. But I thought maybe that would be the end of it.

But hold up! You go on to accuse you with the face of painting people as “white bigots” when she said nothing about white people. You impuned her motives when you self-righteously threw this charm at her:

Since you have a strange obsession with her postings, you go on to accuse of her making up the historical reality of the one-drop rule (which she wasn’t even the first to bring up, by the way). When she provides you with an excellent cite to challenge you, your brain spews this delightful diarrhea:

Honestly, when I read this I thought I must have skipped a page or something. No way a smart, educated person could say something so bizarre. “Ignorant” is being extremely charitable, my dear.

So I don’t blame ywtf for being so exasperated, so frustrated, so irritated that she called you “ignorant” (the horror!) and cussed a few times. Why? Because you were being exasperating, frustrating, and irritating! Someone expressed a single view that went counter to yours in a completely DIFFERENT thread, and it’s like they flipped the batshit crazy switch in your brain. You not only went off on jsgoddess, but then you lashed out at the one person who deigned to say you were overreacting. Are you that sensitive? I thought you were tougher than that.

Here’s a tip: if you don’t like being criticized or disagreed with, stay out of GD. I’ve never seen so much melodrama out of one poster to create not one Pit thread but two. Both on the same topic. I think tomndebb is being extra kind by saying LET IT GO. I’d be tempted to say some other things if I were him.

And while you’ve got me riled up, I have to say that I’m getting pretty damn tired of you bringing up your “days in the trenches”. Do you want some kind of scooby snack for daring to teach black children? Are we that awful that simply working with us is worthy of both the Nobel Peace Prize and special message board treatment? I’m all for self-pride and horn-tooting (ironically, thanks in part to you), but you can stop patting your back so hard, Zoe. It’s getting to be a little too much, hearing you brag about being so racially progressive. It borders on the edge of, “I can’t be racist! My best friend is black!” I’ve met racist people who’s own mothers were black, so that really doesn’t impress me much. No, I don’t think you’re racist. I can’t really say the same about “obsessive”, though.

Yeah, I’m angry and I know it probably hurts you that I’ve said the things I have. I’ll probably regret them in the morning, because I do think you’re a nice, quality person. But I feel like I’ve pussy-footed around you enough; I’m not standing on the sidelines anymore when it comes to family. She didn’t do a damn thing to you that doesn’t happen hourly in the GD. And you’re a little too mature to be running to the mod whenever someone isn’t sugar and sweet with you.

I really hope people check out the linked thread before posting to this thread. Because the last thing you need is a chorus of sympathy.

My bolding:



My dear friend Zoe, I must agree with with the others in this thread that the time has come to let it go. At the risk of starting a dustup of my own, YWTF has always struck me as someone with an inexplicable chip on her shoulder…one that could serve as a butcher’s chopping block, even. Yes, she’s bright (and apparently quite attractive, given the complaints she’s voiced about being hit on so often in objectionable ways) and she seems like someone who should be living a happy and fulfilled life, but the fact is that she is a somewhat angry and confrontational person and one that you are ill served to do battle with. You are a lady (and I hope you don’t find it condescending or sexist that I refer to you that way; you are from the South and I believe and hope you know what I mean when I say that), and it ill serves you to be rolling around on the ground scrapping with her like that. Your experiences and the way you’ve lived your life (plus the way you’ve conducted yourself around here) speak for themselves. Please just let your personality and intelligence and experience speak for themselves and let go of this needless tussle. You’re better than that.

Many regards, my erudite friend, :wink:

Well, you’ve whooshed me. What is dubious about the bolded word?
(One possibility occurs to me, but I would really hope you were not going there.)

I forgot.

What she said was:

Said in response to your denial of the one-drop rule ever being was enforced. You assumed she meant race relations in general, but I think that’s the kind of giant stretch an overly defensive person would make. Having said that, I do have to wonder just how educated you are in at least antebellum race politics if you think the existance of curly-headed debuntes is an intelligent, sane rebuttal to her point. Just what was she supposed to say to that tidbit of craziness, Zoe? My mind is still wheeling over that remark.

Oh, and just to actually contribute - Zoe’s whole dance with the precise meaning of “one drop” has to be the worst example of definitional/semantic quibbling I’ve seen 'round here for a couple years - and that’s the kind of argument we’re good at in GD. But that one made me go “WTF?” - I mean, “ignorant” doesn’t cover it. I think “trolling” comes closer.

Hence the later smiley?

It was a (poor, it turns out) joke riffing off that whole “niggardly” absurdity. I apologise for my warped sense of humour, but it just struck me when I read that post. I couldn’t stop myself. At least I didn’t pun.

Personally Zoe strikes me as being a lot like my mother. I love my mother, she’s a great woman, but she has her faults. One of them is she thinks she knows everything, she’s a bit snotty about it, and she’s never really entertained the idea that she is way out of her depth on a lot of conversations we’ve had over the years.

While I can forgive those faults in my own mother I find them a lot harder to forgive in Zoe. In fact, Zoe has long struck me as being monumentally ignorant. I find it not uncommon at all that she barges into some thread like a senile relative and makes some outright stupid comment. I think one of the few reasons she gets a pass on these comments is because she usually words them well, mixes them in with some “down home” folksy anecdote about her tough life teaching black children and people smile and nod. Well, the truth is that if Zoe was once the person she says she was, she no longer is. Maybe it’s senility or maybe she’s just gone plain stupid, but ever since I’ve posted here she’s never struck me as anything other than monumentally ignorant, and extraordinarily closed minded. She loves to talk about how much “she has learned” from her own life experiences but is dismissive of anything that someone else may have learned from theirs if they contradict with her views at all.

You can hit her with a mountain of cites and she will respond with an anecdotal experience from her illustrious career as educator to black children as though that outweighs anything you could possibly have to say on the matter (or anything a dozen experts might have to say on the matter.)

For those who haven’t been following this stupid saga, here is the other Pit thread started by the OP just a few days ago on the same topic (people being mean to her and not being called on it by tomndebb). Notice how she mysteriously stops participating in it when it’s clear no one except looney-toons are going to jump to her defense. Starting this thread is a desparate attempt to get more sympathy. Unfortunately she’s gotten some.

I consider Zoe a friend. We’ve exchanged emails before, and she helped me when I was going through a sad time in my life. She’s the one poster on the board who I can trust to be very respectful to me–almost overly so. I like her a lot. So that’s why my participation in this thread has been so reluctant. I actually had to call ywtf up and tell her I was going to do this.

But yeah, there’s only so much that a person can put up with. I’ve been able to overlook her Southern apologia and old lady cluelessness in the past, but when she starts wrongly besmirching the intelligence and integrity of someone who I know better than anyone else in the world, I get a bit less forgiving.

I’m hoping that Zoe is not ill, because this doesn’t seem normal for her.

Wow. You consider Zoe a friend? Hope I never get on your bad side.
I don’t really understand why you think Zoe is ill because she sounds very lucid to me. She has had a vey long and rewarding career as a teacher and that career includes teaching many black students in a time when that could get you killed. Why do some of you ridicule her for this? Are you insane? Are you not willing to give this woman (whom I assume is white) the respect she desrerves for her service to all kids in her care? Fuck you if you can’t get what she represents. Fuck you if you don’t get it.

How in hell, pray tell, was I being trifling? Other than ignore her dingbatty spewings (which is what I should have done…DNFTT and all of that), what was I supposed to say to her offensive remarks about the one drop rule? She was beyond idiotic and rude in that thread, and she should have been soundly eviscerated for taking the thread to such absurd territory. Really, all you’re doing with your patting her on the head and throwing me under the bus at the same time is fueling her pathological fetish with persecution and martydom.

Imagine if someone had proclaimed that the Trail of Tears didn’t happen because “none of the Indians were actually walking on a trail, and certainly not one made out tears!” And let’s tell such a thing to an outspoken Cherokee Indian when they’re in the middle of a conversation about the Trail of Tears. And let’s sit back and see what happens. I’d be amazed if “ignorant” was the worse thing that person was called, because that would show a lot of undeserved graciousness was being served to them.

My crime was that I didn’t pat Zoe on the head, tell her good girl, or kiss her feet for being a nice person to some black kids (whom we are constantly subject to hearing about everytime someone disagrees with her about race), but rather I treated her close to how I would treat anyone else (except I was softer). But she can’t handle that. For all the talk she makes about sexism and ageism, I would think she wouldn’t be so quick to cry foul when treated like an equal.

Zoe, I beg of you, please stop your obsession with me. Yes, jsgoddess told you something less than flattering about an anecdote you relayed in this thread, and yes, I committed the cardinal sin of telling you that you were overreacting when you accused her of “putting me in the white hood of my enemy” withthis post. But you know what? It’s time to let it go.

I don’t know what you’re talking about, dude. I started one thread about a dirty old man who couldn’t take no (or my version of no for an answer), and that’s it. If you think that’s enough evidence of my supposed attractiveness, then you might want to get out more. Dirty old men are not known to be all that picky.

But yeah, you’re right that I do have a chip on my shoulder. I have the compulsion to argue against anything that strikes me as stupid and nonsensicsal. Admittedly, I may need to tone it down sometimes because it makes me look angry even when I’m not. But I really didn’t do anything wrong in the aformentioned thread, so this is not one of those times.

Tom sometimes mods with strange blinders on and face is an angry muppet whose posts in GD generally amount to epileptic spasms of stupid (up to and including acting as if she knows more about nuclear inspections than the IAEA)… and Zoe, you got caught up in that dynamic. Don’t get me wrong, it’s frustrating to see tom be rude to posters in all sorts of threads without a mod hat on, and then shut down discussion by claiming that a fight is going on… even though he says he sees no insults, as if he doesn’t understand that a fight without insults is a debate. It’s annoying to see him not “play nice” with a great many posters, and then squash a debate (rather than the insults in it) because sorting things out is too much of a hassle. It’s annoying to have have him decide that negative comments on someone’s intelligence are ‘borderline’ or ‘provoked’ (as if it’s okay to flame someone in GD if you feel provoked)

Tom isn’t going to change his moderating standards any time soon, and face isn’t going to grow a brain or start taking mood stabilizers. Hell, the only way it could get much worse is maybe red fury could sober up enough to stumble into a thread and cast some racist dual-loyalty slurs or maybe engage in some Zionist Quisling Bingo with glutton and face on his coat tails.

There are a slew of useless posters in GD who wouldn’t know reason from rhetoric or passion from frothing lunacy.
Try not to let it bother you Zoe, it won’t accomplish anything. You probably will want to let it go, Zoe, if only because angry muppets deciding to act like scholars pushes the bounds of plausibility.

You know, I owe you an apology. I read that thread several days ago, and I came away with a negative impression of how you argued, but I didn’t reread it for this thread. That was sloppy of me, and I shouldn’t have said what I said. I’m sorry about that, and I’ll back out of this thread now.