Constructive dialogue about race and inclusivity and forum moderation

I know that you didn’t mean badly but I think we should avoid these kinds of comments / this kind of language / stereotyping on the forum! We should try to keep this place as inclusive as possible.

Soz for being that guy :sweat_smile:

Edit: and just to be more constructive, something like the same sentences but using “8y old kid” would solve most of the issues I’m mentioning while retaining the spirit of the discussion!

Edit2: I should clarify I’m not self-appointing as a moderator, these are just my personal opinions!

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yeah but once you pull the “im offended for someone else” card, you ARE playing defacto moderator since you choose to make a non issue an issue.

The only time id generally use the term “8 yr old Asian girl” is when referring to an 8yr old Asian girl. If thats an issue i’ll gladly make this my last post in this forum.

“kid” is seemingly way more derogatory.

Wow, she is awesome! Perhaps she could join Baby Metal’s band…

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You hit the nail on the head. I thought Tommo had become appointed moderator and he knows this because we had a private message exchange and the following isn;t to criticize Tommo. He and I already had a discussion about this and he didn’t mean to make it sound like he was the moderator, but for everyone who might ask what made me think he’d become moderator, it’s from this statement from his original post that started this discussion: “I think we should avoid these kinds of comments / this kind of language / stereotyping on the forum! We should try to keep this place as inclusive as possible.”

Well, when someone on a forum is saying “we” shouldn’t make these kind of statements it sound like he’s acting as an authority figure. What I find troubling, almost offensive, is the idea that someone seemed to have been, and maybe someone has, been appointed the arbiter of what language and what ideas are acceptable and which are not!

I’m 50 years old. I don’t need, I have never had, and I sure as hell don’t want want anyone, especially someone younger, meaning someone with less life experience than I have, being the arbiter of morality and ethics for me!

Let’s take an informal poll:
How many people reading this would like someone to act as the arbiter of their morality and ethics for their posts on this forum?

Legally, the owner if this forum, who I believe is Troy Grady, could act as the general arbiter for morality and ethics for every poster on this forum. While he’d be well within his rights to do that, JonJon is also well within his rights to say what he just did: “The only time id generally use the term “8 yr old Asian girl” is when referring to an 8yr old Asian girl. If thats an issue i’ll gladly make this my last post in this forum.”

I just returned the day before yesterday after a taking a much needed break from the PC driven paranoia which is ubiquitous on this forum. I love talking to guitar players. I’ve loved talking to guitar players for the past 35 years, since well before the internet existed. In general, guitar players aren’t the fragile, highly sensitive people that certain authority figures here mistakenly believe us to be.

Sticks and stones… you know the saying. The first time I heard someone say it’s actually words which hurt the most I had to laugh as I thought: I bet the guys I’ve whipped in fights would have much rather had me just cuss them out!

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Well that went well :sweat_smile:

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You got an interesting topic out on the table. I understand you did it because you wanted to see that this forum remains inclusive. That seems to be one of the big catch words around here, being “inclusive.” “inclusive”? How inclusive are we in reality?

I don’t have the statistics, but surely someone does. How inclusive is this forum in the sense: How well has this inclusive attitude that it is so prevalent here actually been?

What percentage our this forum’s members are female?

How many of this forum’s members come from minority segments of our population, such as , say, African - Americans? Is it in the 5-10% range for example? I’m asking, what has been the result of this forum’s attempts at being inclusive?

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A few things I’ll address as a moderator. First, I do support the sentiment that:

I don’t think there was any ill intent with the phrase in question but I understand Tommo’s concern, and I think it’s always worth considering how things can be interpreted in multiple ways.

I don’t find this to be true, and you’re one of the only people I’ve seen make this complaint. We have some fairly simple rules and very rarely run into problems; we’ve only escalated to e.g. suspend / ban folks a small handful of times.

But to be clear, this has never been a place where anyone can say literally anything with no repercussions. If that’s not to your liking, well…you don’t have to be here.

To the question of “is this forum inclusive?”—

No statistics on this actually; we don’t collect this sort of specific data when people sign up. In general it does seem pretty clear the userbase here is mostly male, and probably older and whiter than average.

However I think inclusivity and diversity are two different (though related) things. Whether or not the forum is not super diverse, we can try to make it as inclusive as possible, i.e. open to everyone and not signaling (intentionally or not) that certain types of people are more or less welcome here.

Not sure if this is a thing we’ll ever be able to measure but we can do our best. Very open to suggestions for anything we can do to improve here.

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I was a kid long enough ago that I grew up with a shitload of bad habits. My grandfather, who I lived with, was basically Archie Bunker. He couldn’t talk about anybody without tacking on some irrelevant epithet about their ethnic background like “black guy”, “Chinese guy”, or whatever. It’s taken me a long time to break these habits. The Long Island is strong in me.

I delete some variation of the “asian girl” comment on our the Li-Sa-X videos on YouTube a couple times a week. I’d rather not have those comments around here because they are irrelevant at best, add nothing, and reduce the quality of our conversations.

If you want to specifically discuss different approaches to arts education around the world, that’s totally cool. I recommend the Ellen Winner interview, where we discuss the approach to arts education in China:

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There are plenty of words that can have more than one meaning and then there’s another term, which escapes me right now, that has to do with an idea that some words have two different types of meanings and I feel like the word for this is right in the tip of my tongue but I can’t quite remember it. Hopefully it will come to me soon…

Anyway. the way I interpret it, your using the word inclusivity, at last some of the time, as something that’s a means to an end. That need being that we have a nice, varied, group of people here with men. women, boys, girls, whites, blacks, hispanics, orientals, arabs, jewish people, etc.

It’s been a long time since I joined and I honestly didn’t remember if you asked (for statistical reasons only) sex, ethnicity, and possibly religion (interestingly enough, jewish can refer to ethnicity or religious affiliation).

So, I was wondering, if there was somebody who might be able to tells us how well your way of going about being inclusive has resulted in diversity among the total populace of the forum.

Would people find it uncomfortable to be asked about their ethnic backgrounds when they join? I can’t say. I can only speak for myself in that if it were stated you were collecting this information so you could make sure you were marketing equally effectively towards men and women, whites and blacks, etc.

I wouldn’t have minded if you’d asked me those types pf questions when I joined. It’s funny how people tend to form mental images about people they only know through internet forums including age color, and maybe even general appearance. For the record, I’m 50 years old, I was born in The United States but am of Colombian origin, and I am Christian. Now your mental picture of me may be of brown skin, as many hispanic people are, but that’s true for some countries more than others. Colombia certainly has many native people who are brown skinned, but remember, Colombia was colonized by Spain - that’s why they speak Spanish! Well Spain is in Europe, just like Italy or France. So there are also white people in Colombia. I’m white. But that’s just skin tone. I am latino! OK, I’m not gonna bore you anymore with my fascinating background. Also I wanted to make a point - that to me anyway, volunteering that kind of info is no big deal. Why should it be? I’m proud of my background.

If mentioning a guitarist’s ethnicity and heritage is “irrelevant at best” and “adds nothing” in your opinion, how do you explain this:

" Cracking the Code Episode 2: “Rise of the Viking” — Yngwie Malmsteen"

" Chapter 2 - How Swede It Is"

I have to agree with @Acecrusher here. If calling an 8 year old Asian girl an 8 year old Asian girl is offensive, I really have to wonder where this world is headed.
Should I be offended if somebody called me a middle aged white guy? It’s what I am. Since when is that offensive?
I can’t speak to what happens in other countries, but here in the US we are turning into a nation of crybabies. Some colleges are actually installing “crying rooms” so if a student feels emotionally overwhelmed they can go to this room and have a good cry or something. Isn’t college the place where people are supposed to step over the threshold into adulthood and leave childhood behind?
What are we teaching the youth of today? That being a crybaby will get you whatever you want because people are terrified of being called out on social media and be accused of something they aren’t?

I don’t see anything wrong with the above comment on Lisa-X.
The fact that there aren’t any women here is due to the fact that the vast majority of guitar players are male and not because the members here are offensive.
I am a member of several guitar forums and they typically don’t have many female members either. I’m sure if you went to a knitting forum you would find a female majority there too, and I’m sure they don’t wonder why that is.

I can’t tell if this is a serious question or if you’re just trying to “catch” me on a contradiction. It feels like you’re just trying to zing me. If you honestly and truly don’t know why I might think that discussions of Yngwie are different from the various “asians” comments I delete from Li-Sa-X videos on our YouTube channel, I guess I could try to ham-handedly spell that out. But again, my impression is that you do know why I might think this, and that the nature of the beast these days is just to fire back.

Look, we live in contentious times. I get that. I count our blessings that discussions of guitar technique really don’t lend themselves to political / cultural arguments. This is not what gets me all fired up to strap on my flame suit and hit the keyboard. On the super rare occasion that a particular thing bothers me and I don’t want it here, I would hope I and @Brendan have demonstrated through our thousands of posts that there is a balance to these requests, and which direction this balance swings in.

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In olden days i used to roam a strange and secretive guitarforum in the depths of the interwebs, where the very ability of shredding (or doing anything properly) was traced back to having a certain socio-political attitude.

So yes, nothing is save anymore :no_mouth:

I am a political person and not afraid of discourse, but i enjoy places like this community here a lot! Reminds me that we all have so much in common, like eyes and the primordial urge to shred faster on guitar :heart:

wish i had a nickel for every time in the last, oh, 10-11 years, that I turned on the TV and heard how evil “white people” are.

I personally, as a Christian, conservative, white, southern male, have been blamed for all of the worlds evils pretty consistently for quite a number of years now. Im talking about on mainstream TV, movie culture, music culture, the whole bit.

No one blinks or bats an eyelash when someone is called “that white dude”, or “you know, that white girl”

“she dance good for a white girl” etc. Or in my case the ever popular “you alright for a white dude”

Seriously, let a white cop shoot a minority and its world wide news for months…meanwhile a few hundred white folks get killed by minorities and it’s a yawner.

good ol inclusive pop culture. No tears shed huh?

now here, in a community thats, what, 98% white males…we gonna be scolded by other white males for mentioning someone’s continent of origin? I imagine most Asians are proud to be Asians just as am am proud to be American and also proud to be of European descent.

I could see someone raising a fuss if an actual racial slur occurred, but I mean, this is already like the mildest, most self regulating forum online.

Instead of all the assuming this or that could be offensive, why not ask @Peter_C if he was offended by any comments in this thread.

Seriously, PC nannying is like the most toxic of all possibilities.

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mainstream TV, pumped out worldwide. No outcry.

“We have to stop demonizing people and realize that the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them.”

Not only denigrating a whole group of people, but essentially calling for violence …“doing something about them” etc.

Was he fired? Was he censured at all? Nah. This is the world we live in. Blatant racism aimed at one group nonstop with billion dollar budgets…keep that in mind when you pull out the microscope to nitpick

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Of course I wouldn’t be alright also with these sentences!

Just to clarify, I may have written the above post too fast and it came out like I was “scolding” but that was not the intention.

I just imagined some people might be put off from interacting with us if they read these kinds of sentences, even if there was no bad intent at all. And I don’t think there was, to be clear!

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truer words never spoken

Never said I couldn’t be wrong, but why not avoid the risk altogether? Anyway I should probably back away from this discussion, and apologies to the OP for derailing the topic. @Brendan would it be possible to split away this chapter into a new topic?
Thanks!

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JonJon, and others in this thread- what a can of worms!

Let me preface all this by saying we’re from all different walks of life with only one thing in common and that is too precious to lose. That thing isn’t even guitar- it is THE guitar. So we need to cherish that.

I think we can even have a discussion on this provided we don’t shoehorn each other and/or assume the worst of intentions behind every single word. That courtesy I believe can be granted to others at least in the scope of this forum.

JonJon, you asked me in your message to be as frank as possible so I will oblige. I don’t for one second you are offensive or racist, but I can’t just brush off some of the insensitivity (which I believe stems from a lack of experience “on the other side” rather than a blatant form of discrimination) in bits throughout this thread- though not from you in particular.

Now, when people speak out against this “insensitivity,” whether it’s really that or just poor semantics- it should not be understood as the “PC Police” policing speech. When legitimate claims get reduced to memes, it tends to make matters difficult.

I have a few reservations about you overly identifying yourself with these labels; thus I need to question why you even feel attacked about minority claims that you’re responsible for this and that. You are surely not the cause for the world’s troubles so there’s no need for you to project that somehow this issue is about you- I say this in the most sincere and respectful way :slight_smile:

One’s obligation should be first to themselves and their integrity, then to others, and then far down the list what niche they belong to, and then inform those (who make blanket statements) to use better or more precise semantics.

Which is why I find this bit:

"No one blinks or bats an eyelash when someone is called “that white dude”, or “you know, that white girl”

“she dance good for a white girl” etc. Or in my case the ever popular “you alright for a white dude”

Seriously, let a white cop shoot a minority and its world wide news for months…meanwhile a few hundred white folks get killed by minorities and it’s a yawner."

A little bit out of place because it feels like a mixture of projection, uncorroborated victimization, and a bit of straw-manning if you will.

You yourself say,

“I personally, as a Christian, conservative, white, southern male, have been blamed for all of the worlds evils…”

First, has it ever occurred to you that most if not all of those labels were at one point in history or another, for long periods, the ruling and/or privileged majority, and hence the disrespect they could be shown is not really equal to the disrespect shown to a minority group- because history provides the context for it to be so. That’s what being a majority power implies- that de facto by status you are sort of “immune” to hurt, because well- you have never been, to the same extent that other minority groups have been.

For example, “he’s cool for a gay dude” is not on equivalent standing to “he’s boring for a straight guy.”

But this does not mean I condone disrespect to those groups either- hardly in fact. It’s just that I do that while being very well aware of the immense historical context that I just cannot deny.

It is irrelevant, but just to highlight the spirit of what I mean, I personally am atheist, libertarian, of asian descent, and American upbringing- YET we are still holding conversation and enjoying each other’s company.

And in that context and framework I think there’s very little to get riled up over.

And for what it’s worth, I did not find “the 8 year old japanese girl can do it too” comment offensive (because I believe the context determines intent- and I didn’t find any)-

But then again, I am not Japanese, nor female, nor 8 years old :stuck_out_tongue:

But aside from the facetious remarks, I do see the larger point you made in that paragraph about how technique has come a really long way as to be really accessible to the younger generation these days. Adapt and evolve, rinse and repeat as they say.

I hope my perspective has been helpful and above all, respectful :slight_smile:

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oh snap, I thought u were going to say u were vegan…that might have been an issue.

Yeah, i’ve never been black or “Asian” but neither have blacks or Asians ever been white. As a human I dont feel particularly “immune” to the kind of blatantly anti-white, anti-male rhetoric that is in vogue today. So without you walking a mile in my shoes, I doubt you COULD understand my comments that you quoted. The type of stuff ive had to endure is stuff like, lets say myself and 2 other white people are in conversation at work, a black person rides by and says “yall having a meeting”? You’d have to be a white person from the south to get the insult. If the comment were made the other way around id be looking for a job

The “racism” or stereotyping that ive seen aimed at Asians is generally positive lol. People joke about how smart ya’ll are or how you are all doctors etc. Yeah, id say you and I would have different perceptions on racial issues lol. You haven’t had to live with the bullseye on you.

As a forklift driver in a warehouse, I dont feel particularly like part of any “ruling class”. It’s odd. So for the last several months at work, my partner has been a Filipino woman. She talks a lot and some people find her annoying. Ive sort of gotten used to it. She is married to a black guy. Well, our shifts are changing so she and I wont be working together anymore. She is worried who she will get as a partner and she wishes I was coming to her shift so we could be partners 4 days per week.

Im the minority at my workplace lol. (by far). Im trying to think back to the partners ive had at work (we get paired up to work in certain door ranges etc). I think ive had 1 Filipino girl, 3 black girls, 3 black guys, 1 white guy. So there’s your ratio.

So my partner is Filipino and my supervisor is black and I gave a ride home to a black guy this very day. Yet on an almost all white forum, I get flagged for mentioning someone’s race. I guess you’d have to be me to understand how foolish it all seems.

BTW I dated a black girl for almost 5 years. Loved her, put a ring on her finger, had her here living with me, took her to be with my family for holidays yada yada. Its all there in my facebook history (no secrets online of course)

So it seems it would be a bit hard to hang the “racist” or “white supremacist” tag on me…yet here we are in this thread with some simple comment being taken to task lol.

Even in your comments Peter, there is a certain bias. Disrespect shown to me isnt like disrespect shown to others? Because of things that happened hundreds of years before I was born? So when I was born, I was guilty? If I feel victimized its “uncorroborated”. Too bad we cant all change places on occasion.

Damned if I do or dont.

At over 50 years old with over 30 years of guitar struggles, ex military, one who has lived in a foreign country for several years (Greece), one who has dated interracially, one who has competed in probably 10 different activities, one who has (attempted to) run his own businesses, it would almost seem like i’d be seen as someone who’s opinions and perspectives would be welcomed…but lately it seems id just be better off to be silent

Peace, JJ

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