- What should we do about racist comments in general?
- What should we do about chelovek specifically?
The problem, as I see it, is one of racist comments
, which seems silly at first, but is actually an important distinction.
I have no doubt that I have said something
others here would consider racist. An example that comes to mind would be when I advocated drug and criminal background screening for welfare and purchase tracking for food stamps and EBT. A few people said that it was racist because my thoughts ran along the lines of:
a) a larger percentage of black people live in poverty compared to whites,
b) a larger percentage of black people commit crimes and abuse street drugs compared to whites, and
c) a larger percentage of black people accept EBT assistance than whites,
d) we should be stopping black people specifically from receiving help they need.
Obviously, I don't
think (D) - and I'd be an idiot if I did. I said something, though, that can be construed as a racist comment. If somebody wanted to argue that I was being racist in that situation, it would be hard for me to argue against their point. That being said, I don't think that many people look at a post of mine on any general subject and say, "Bunsen? Who's that again? Oh, right, the racist."
Replace "Bunsen" with "Chelovek" (or a couple of other posters, it's not just him/her) in that sentence, and I have that thought a few times a week here at the SGUF.
I don't believe I've ever reported Chelovek's particular racist trolling, because I agree with what a few others have said - his/her arguments are so insipidly, mindlessly, and demonstrably wrong that they are easily ignored, even when s/he desperately tries to derail the conversation. If Chelovek were better at being a troll, I'd report his/her derails and hate speech. However, unlike SP@R, HarryBalls, JWaksman, and MMP, s/he just lacks the posting talent/frequency to really obstruct day-to-day functions around the fora.
The problem isn't how Chelovek interacts with others on this forum - it's how Chelovek represents this forum to the outside world. We members all know and appreciate that this forum permits a certain level of ass-hattery (hell, I still post here, that's proof enough,) but the average external guest reader doesn't.
And so, what they see instead is a forum that permits, and by permitting, welcomes
hate speech. That's bad, no matter how you color it. You can talk around the fact all day by going on about "creating a stimulating, sexy, fun new haven on the internet where we can all learn from each other and be groovy, man," but it doesn't matter one good god-damned bit to those people who aren't indoctrinated in the protocols and community of the SGUF. We're just the skeptics who cavort with racists.And that is why, in short, my answer to your two-part question is:
1.) Qualify them, limit them, and create rules that allow them to be reigned in when necessary, and
2.) jail Chelovek to explicit where s/he can't do permanent harm to our guest readership's view of the SGU podcast through its association with a racist forum.