215 Advice Question: Moderating While Privileged?
We got a thoughtful question from long-time listener Jackson about moderating marginalized folks while being a person who has a lot of privilege. Having had some experience with this ourselves, we tackle this quandary and the bigger philosophical issues around it with our usual gusto!
In This Episode
- USDA Allows Pink Slime To Be Labeled As “Ground Beef” (VegNews)
- Australia Officially Ends Cosmetic Animal Testing (VegNews)
- Back pay for federal contractors missing from government funding bill (NBC News)
- ‘It’s Cold as Hell’: Inside a Brooklyn Jail’s Weeklong Collapse (NY Times)
Joke in the Middle
What do you get when you plant a kiss? Thanks, Jean!
This week, we’re tackling a tough and thoughtful question from listener Jackson about moderating marginalized folks who are creating havoc in online spaces. As two whites who try to provide a safe but also free-thinking, community-building space in the VWPA Society, we understand the challenges inherent in recognizing your own privilege compared to someone else but still needing to handle disputes in a fair manner that protects others in the group. Jackson writes:
There’s a member of the group who’s been causing problems for quite some time, but I’ve struggled to kick him out or try to police his tone because he is aboriginal and often speaks from a place of hurt for what white people like myself have done to his people’s land. I’ve also become a personal friend of his and can see his good intentions even though they come across as being rude and disrespectful to other group members.
For example, he posted the below comic the other day that compares the AR movement to the women’s rights movement. He often speaks of
I’ve had members of the local Jewish community
He also started a big nasty anti-
I’m just wondering if you’ve had any experience dealing with a similar situation, and if so if you have any advice on if there are any action steps I can take to try and keep the peace. If I just do what multiple people have told me to do and kick him out of the group, it would be a straight white cis male silencing and ostracizing an aboriginal activist who is just trying to fight for oppressed beings. Quite a conundrum :(