Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

Comment censorship and comment policies VIII: Coloured bloggers in need of a reality check

with 4 comments

Recently, I encountered a blog discussing censorship of commentse (a recurring topic on my own blog). After leaving a comment and a follow-up, I have received email notifications about a number of comments that would need addressing.

Notably, statements like those by AfroCan are likely to have a negative effect on the cause and on society, by antagonizing many who would have been supportive, by making others less likely to pay attention when true issues are raised (if one cries “wolf”…), and by causing unnecessary rifts in society between the “true believers” and the rest of the world.

To give these their due attention is not within the scope of the time I have, so I will give a selective overview of some issues:

  1. The initial post has a very one-sided and over-generalizing view on the “-isms”. Formulations used include (emphasis added)

    Some people argue that bloggers have a responsibility to moderate hateful comments, but this abstraction often assumes that the blogger is an able-bodied, middle-to-upper-class, heterosexual, white, cis man who is not the target of the hateful comments.”

    (Note in particular the use of the word “cis”, which by the standards applied by the politically correct where women and minorities are concerned must be considered offensive.)

    Through-out, there is an excessive repetition of the word “hateful”—a word that in my experience is usually used with very little basis in fact. (I grant that I have not investigated the general take and justification on this specific blog.) An upcoming post of mine will deal with this topic.

    Generally, I recognize the kind of artificial polarization and division into groups that it so common within many PC-movements. Effectively, one group is cut off from the others by throwing labels at it, to the point that it eventually can be disputed whether the group actually has any members, and the members of this group are called privileged oppressors based solely on group membership—irrespective of their own actual opinions and situations.

  2. The commenter AfroCan proved to be particularly prejudiced and white-people-are-out-to-get-us—the black version of some of the feminists I have written about on earlier occasions. Consider statements like

    It’s critical for People of Colour to have a (relatively) safe space to voice and dialogue on the issues of race, privilege and other intersecting social oppressions. One of our great frustrations is not having a forum or platform to voice any of these concerns/alternative perspectives in the mainstream media.

    (The feminist version of this argument, I have dealt with previously. The same counter-arguments, m.m., apply. [Note: Wrong link, I will dig up the right one later.])

    […]yet another demonstration of psychological privileges and “terror” dominant Whites wield over people of colour.

    (Yet another demonstration of feminist-style lack of perspective and insight.)

    At the heart of many rebuttals disputing the existence of White male privilege/domination, is the “blind spot” of perception, where the White privileged naysayers can recognize only their own oppression in a refusal to recognize intersectionality, an inability to see across and evaluate social categories/ oppressions of gender, sexuality, class, and ability. They also fail to see they ways in which their very language/rhetoric is actually exposing the deep rooted White domination, arrogance and contempt POCs are trying to identify and dismantle. They are providing the EVIDENCE of racism in Canada’s so-called multicultural egalitarian society.

    (As with feminists: “Either you recognize our claims—or your failure to do so is proof of our claims!”. Now, unlike with e.g. Swedish feminists, I am not qualified to judge whether there is at least a partial truth behind this statement; however, it is at best a gross over-generalization and exaggeration. Further, it is AfroCan, himself, who demonstrates the blind-spot of perception, living in his own reality.)

  3. AfroCan, in a later comment, goes on to say that he is

    […] still a male feminist committing myself to anti-racist feminist thought, through READING feminist works and BECOMING an ally.

    (The feminism of today is an anti-equality movement, filled with bigotry and based on an extremely twisted world-view. See a number of previous entries.)

  4. Other statements by him include rhetorical nonsense like

    Many of the uncritical bloggers are mobilizing false rhetorical “freedom of speech” and “censorship” claims to subvert discussion, not recognizing that these practices are in part what racism, privilege and White domination are all about to begin with.

    (Apparently aimed at giving a pseudo-justification for the unethical censorship discussed in many of my previous entries.)

  5. With the following, utterly absurd claim, he really takes the Orwellian prize

    Another curious I discourse I see going on in these blogs, is calling [people of colour] racist—an utterly absurd rebuttal. Granted—some POCs can be “prejudiced” but not “racist”.

  6. Commenter Jennifer Kesler gives a number of flawed arguments in favour of censorship. Some of these have been dealt with in earlier installments, some do not make sense, others go against common sense, constructive behaviour, or Hanlon’s Razor. (I do not rule out a partial justification of some of them in at least some contexts, however. Even so, they would make for a very poor comment policy on the vast majority of all blogs.) In the main, they would tend to reduce exposure to alternate ideas and arguments—the very lack of which is a major reason why the PC movement actually is one of the bad guys.

    (Ironically, the blog owner explicitly mentions the danger of groupthink—but he does so with the prejudiced and role-reversed claim that “[…]tech news readers tend to boost the signals of sexist or misogynist comments.”, proving that he does not know many of these and that he has a severe blind spot for the sins of the PC movement.)

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Written by michaeleriksson

October 31, 2010 at 8:45 pm

4 Responses

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  1. In defending my arguments, am posting my original comments here. Please stop mis-representing my comments by taking them out of context:

    [Moderators note: Long copy of a text to be found at
    http://restructure.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/ethics-of-comment-moderation/#comment-5788 was removed. By all means, I do encourage other readers to visit that page.]

    [Addendum 2010-11-04: Removed the alleged URL to AfroCan’s homepage/blog. Either he misguidedly filled this field with “n/a”, or he deliberately provided a very broken URL.]

    AfroCan

    October 31, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    • For other readers: I note that AfroCan has left a longer note on the other page, where I posted the following answer.

      @AfroCan

      If you feel misrepresented, please post a factual clarification—not a personal attack.

      I note that your last comment uses much rhetoric and little argument. Further, that you yourself misrepresent my statements.

      michaeleriksson

      October 31, 2010 at 11:27 pm

  2. […] To give a better perspective of the kind of thinking that goes on at the blog discussed in the previously installment: […]

  3. […] my reading heavy on the issues of academic freedom, free speech on US campuses, and similar. (See [1], [2], [3] for the […]


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