The thread was discussing a very important topic and had barely been open a day. If you considered that our exchange was derailing the thread then the optimal thing to do IMHO was to ask us to stop arguing. But the thread wasn’t going “nowhere.” People were adding new posts even while we debated. I don’t see why our exchange should have been the reason to close the thread down.
Secondly: the posts from slash2k were outrageously offensive, from equivocating the physical, biological and cultural genocide of First Nations people to homeless people living in the street, to the dismissal of lived experiences of First Nations peoples because they aren’t the “dominant part of society making decisions for everybody else”.
I’m one of the very few indigenous voices on the boards. I usually keep my head down here when I can. But the framing of slash2k’s posts were the most offensive, dismissive and racist posts I’ve seen here in a long time. I didn’t report it because I went to sleep and when I woke up the topic was closed. But characterising stolen murdered children as “outcasts” as if those children had agency, and as “forgotten” when the families have been trying to find out what happened to their kids for decades is just unbelievably wrong.
I agree that it was sad it was closed. And I agree that Slash2k was offensive.
(If there are 215 at each of 149 locations, and I wouldn’t be surprised if such is revealed, that’s almost 30,000 children.)
I feel like there are millions of silent Canadians who don’t know how to ally with indigenous communities. They want to show support but fear doing it wrong, I think. They don’t want to watch the drumming and dancing lest they treat the sacred as theatre, they fear to participate in the drumming and dancing lest it seem cultural appropriation. They never hear about rallies or protests till they appear on the news. Afraid if they turn up in too large numbers THAT will become the story, shifting focus from the issues. I think they feel like the sins of their ancestors demand they wait to be invited to ally.
I thought the missing women, truth and reconciliation inquiry would bring seismic change, finally! But, once again very little actual change. Perhaps it will be different this time.
I really want to believe that, but not sure I really can.
I have re-opened the thread, with the provision that @slash2k and @Banquet_Bear are both prohibited from posting anything further in it.
If the thread goes off the rails again it will be permanently closed.
By that point, the damage was done. You and slash2k had already driven the thread completely off the rails. You should have either reported the thread or taken it to the Pit instead of staying in the thread and arguing.
I thought Banquet Bear’s knowledge in a related, or arguably the same, area was likely to be useful. I agree that it might have been more so provided in a different form.
I’m glad the thread has been reopened, and hope very much that it stays that way. It may provide additional work for the mods, which is unfortunate; but it’s a very important subject, and shouldn’t be choked off for everyone because of the posts of a few.
…for the sake of curiosity, was there anything that slash2k said in that thread that would have been considered actionable? Would reporting have changed anything or was my only realistic option taking it to the pit?
If the thread had been reported before it went completely off the rails, a simple mod note telling the two of you to dial it back would have probably been sufficient to prevent the thread closure and thread bans. The Pit wasn’t your only option.
…with respect, that wasn’t my question. If I hadn’t gotten involved in that thread, was there anything inherently problematic with the nature of slash2k’s posts that would have been actionable? If I had reported it instead of getting involved in the thread would a mod note have been issued? Or were slash2k’s comments just fine?
Just two cents from a neutral observer here, but I don’t think slash2k actually disagrees much with you, Banquet Bear. My read was that s/he agrees that what happened was horrible, but in trying to expand the discussion wider, made it’s seem like s/he was minimizing it. I could be wrong, but that’s what I saw.
In addition, it didn’t help that you attacked precipitously about being “lectured” on indigenous history. How was s/he supposed to know your background before you posted about it? A simple identification without all the huffing and puffing might have sufficed. Lots of people don’t know that history and may have found those cites useful.
…slash2k compared the unmarked graves, which were part of the systematic attempted genocide of First Nations people (as described by the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation report) as akin to homelessness in New York. It’s the equivalent to holocaust denial in my eyes.
I don’t think this is the right place to continue arguments from that thread. All I will say is that I make no apologies for what I said.
Having now read the other thread up to where it was closed and reopened, I’m inclined to agree.
I don’t envy the job the mods have. I realize there are often no good solutions, and reasonable people can disagree about the least-worst approach. But shutting down these two posters in this instance creates a false equivalence. It would be better, I think, to at least allow the discussion to continue, perhaps moving the thread or splitting it off if it was too much of a distraction from the parallel conversation. But putting both the person minimizing the horrors that are the subject of the thread, and the one calling them out for it, on the same time-out doesn’t sit right with me.
…thank you to those in this thread who have offered me support.
I’m still waiting to hear back on this. But there are a few more things that I would like clarification about.
I reported Martin Hydes posts in that thread. Martin posted 20 times in that thread, almost every single post followed the same line of argument that slash2k was making obfuscated by the fact that Martin used a lot more words than slash2k did, and was just a little less precise. Martin argued with multiple people in that thread.
The moderators did take action here: they issued a mod-note, but Martin was allowed to continue posting in that thread. Fair enough.
I received two responses to my flag from two different moderators. I’ll post the response in full for transparency.
So this is the part that confuses me. There didn’t seem to be any confusion in what part of the interaction between myself and slash2k derailed the thread. We were debating, sure. But I only posted in that thread five times. Martin posted twenty times.
So it wasn’t the amount of times that I posted in that thread that was obviously a derail.
Was it because I was angry?
I openly concede I was angry. Stating that the genocides in Australia were functionally equivalent to the genocides in Canada did make me angry. Because there is a shared collective grief that many on these board have never experienced, and will never be able to experience.
But there aren’t any rules about being angry on the boards. I didn’t post any insults, was careful to cast my criticisms at slash2k’s posts and not at the poster. I didn’t cross the line into being a jerk IMHO. Did you think that I did?
I have often said that this board has blindspots. It has blindspots around misogyny. It took a groundswell of action from women and their allies on the boards to make changes to make this a safer place to post. And there are blindspots around race, and it took a groundswell from black people and people of colour to make changes for the better. And there were blindspots around transgender people, and because so many transgender members had left the boards it took a groundswell from the few-remaining and their allies to introduce new policies that have made this place a safer place to be.
And there is a blindspot around indigenous peoples. There aren’t many of us on the boards. I can hardly begin to tell you how offensive and racist the arguments that slash2k was making.
I had the option of pitting slash2k. But that would have exposed me to attacks from the disingenuous and I don’t have the emotional energy to deal with that.
I could have reported it: but I suspect that if I did then I would have been told (just like I was told in my response to my reports) that I would have had to have been more specific. Nothing that slash2k was saying looked against the rules to me. I had nothing to report them for. And the non-response to my question in this thread seems to bear that out.
So I decided to address the posts in that thread, with a very specific line of questioning that exposed slash2k’s arguments for what they really were.
It looks to me I got thread-banned for tone. If this is indeed the case then I would prefer the moderators to just say that instead of hiding behind the “derail” argument. Martin Hyde got a mod note for “getting off topic”, but twenty posts arguing with everyone else in the thread wasn’t seen as a “derail.” There was much worse than this in the JK Rowling Megathread. There was derail after derail after derail and the thread was open for over a year but nobody got thread-banned after an exchange that only lasted five posts.
Some clarifications please would be greatly appreciated.
We got thread-banned because we could not have a civil conversation.
I asked what was unique about Canada’s boarding school system and how their attempt to obliterate First Nations culture differed from the US attempt to obliterate Native American culture via boarding schools, or the Australian attempt to obliterate Aboriginal culture via boarding schools. Instead of explaining what you view as unique or different, you said, “Don’t even start to lecture me on this. Don’t even attempt it. … The complete and utter arrogance on display here. Unbelievable.”
That’s not a criticism of my post; you did not say that I was factually incorrect or illogical or ahistorical or anything of that sort. “Don’t even start… don’t even attempt it” is an order, an order directed to me as a person and a poster, an order trying to shut me up. No, I didn’t react well.
I don’t know anything at all about you or your background, and I don’t know much about the Canadian situation. I do know a little bit about “Kill the Indian, save the man” as applied south of the 49th parallel, and I see a lot of similarity between that and what I’ve read about Kamloops, but apparently it is “offensive and racist” even to suggest that. Why? I don’t understand.
I probably do have a gaping blindspot; I’m neither tangata whenua nor Canadian, and the struggles and tragedies that have shaped my family history and my worldview are not the ones that have shaped yours. I do not mean to deny that what happened was horrific (I even said that, multiple times, in that other thread), and I do not mean to offend you or anybody else. However, how do I learn what is uniquely evil about Canada, how do I eliminate that blindspot, if question and response causes both of us to be banned from further participation in that discussion?
Do we need to go to the pit, or can we have a civil conversation outside it?
That’s not all you did. Your first post compared the murdered First Nations children to homeless people, your third called them forgotten and outcasts, and you did not back down from those statements in the slightest.
By the time you got to actually reframing it as the (still insulting) question of “uniqueness” vis-àvis other ethnic cleansing programs, rather than homeless or mentally ill people, you’d already done enough damage to the thread.