Comments on this blog are moderated by the blog's proprietor, macon d (that would be me). Differences of opinion are welcome here, but comments that break any of the following rules may not be published, or they may be deleted after being published. Comments that don't seem to break any of the rules below may also not be published (when that happens, I will consider writing a new rule to cover them).
The following rules for commenting are subject to change; if you have suggestions for changes in these rules, or in other features of this blog, please write them in a comment here. If you have questions about these rules, do not write them below; please send them to me via email (suggestions of any sort are always welcome that way too): unmakingmacon at gmail dot com
I've made these rules as clear as I can. Nevertheless, whether particular comments fail to follow them is sometimes subject to interpretation; in those cases, I'm the interpreter. Sometimes I explain in a posted comment of my own [in brackets] why I rejected a comment (or why I redacted just part of it), and sometimes I don't. If you submit a comment and wonder why it was rejected, you're welcome to write me an email, and I'm likely (but not guaranteed) to respond.
Anyone can comment here, but any comment can also receive criticism, especially if its writer is new to discussions of racism (and even if they're not).
Finally, if you are new to thinking seriously about racism, whiteness, de facto white supremacy, and common white tendencies, you've got some catching up to do -- please consult the list of online resources at the bottom of this page before commenting here.
1. Please do not choose the "Anonymous" function for your name. If you do, I will assign your comment a name. If you then comment after that happens to you, stick with that new name, or else chose another and stick with that one.
2. Do not ask why I or others here "hate white people" (we don't). Do not ask why I "hate myself" (I don't). This blog is not about claiming that "white people are bad." Instead, it's about the effects of racism, especially the habits induced in white people by being socially categorized as "white." Despite what white individuals tend to think, being classified that way does matter in white people's lives; if you're white and you read around in this blog's archives with an open mind, you're likely to realize that.
3. Keep in mind the subtitle of this blog ("The ways of white folks, I mean, some white folks . . ."), and don't complain about what you see as "white-bashing" here. Very few if any of the posts here are about stuff ALL white people do. If you're white and you don't do it, then it's not about you. If I, or other guest writers or other commenters say "white people" do this or that, we almost never mean ALL white people do it, and it's a repetitious annoyance to continually modify "white people" with "some" and other qualifiers. Do not complain either about the past sufferings at the hands of whiteness of your immigrant Irish, Italian, etc. ancestors -- yes, they may have suffered what amounts to racism at one time for not being classified as white yet, but their currently white descendants don't.
4. Address the topic in the post. Comments that are overly distracting or derailing do not get published here. (This does not mean, however, that comment sections do not sometimes take a productive tangent away from the topic at hand.)
5. If you express disagreement with anything here, including other comments, do us all a favor by also explaining why.
6. Try to be concise. Keep in mind that long, long comments tend to get skimmed over, and just as often, skipped entirely.
7. Focus on what people say, instead of whoever you think they are. Avoid ad hominem attacks, and do not call anyone else here names or terms other than those they identify themselves with. If you refer to another commenter here, please do your best to retype their online name correctly.
8. Do not threaten anyone with violence (even if you think you're joking).
9. Try not to repeat something that's already been said in the comment thread. Some "co-signing" and affirmations of "what she said" are okay, but please at least skim through a post's comments to see if anyone's already said what you're about to write.
10. Race is understood to be a social construction here, a categorical fiction (but also, one that nevertheless continues to have major real-world effects). Do not espouse racial essentialism, by which I mean, do not suggest or claim that members of any race are inherently anything other than that which members of any other races are as well.
11. Do not complain about the ways that other commenters here communicate. Different people communicate in different ways, some of which you may object to. I do not consider it my place as a middle-class, white resident of the United States to impose here one particular set of communication standards and rules. One exception: although I despise "English Only" demands in the U.S., I must impose that rule here because I moderate the comments, and can do so most effectively in English.
12. Do not bother to point out that other people also do the things that white people are described here as doing. If you're ever tempted to do that, and wonder why you shouldn't, read this post on "The Arab Trader Argument." In a similar vein, avoid dismissing the matter of racism in favor of sexism, classism, ablism, and so on. These factors do of course affect and intersect with racism, but the latter, racism, is the focus here.
13. If you're white and you want to interact here with people of color, stop and consider first that the way you're about to act may actually be a common white way to act. When you do interact here with people of color, practice expressing instead those human qualities that your culture and racial upbringing subtly discourage you from expressing in such interactions. These qualities include respect, humility, open-mindedness, compassion, and an understanding that in terms of the topic at hand, their experience of, and understanding of, racism is probably much greater than yours. Since the topic is racism, listen to their experiences. Since the topic is racism, do not distract from their experiences with it by comparing them to your own, supposedly similar experiences (which are not about racism, right?); or by offering your own, necessarily ill-informed diagnoses of what they're feeling or thinking (after all, how would you know?); or by sincerely offering in response your own shock, regret, or sympathy, however deeply heartfelt (because after all, what would that really do in the struggle against racism, except to help convince yourself that you're not racist?).
14. Along with that, do not ask people of color here to do work for you. If you have questions for people of color here about their experiences, try to find answers elsewhere first (and if they do provide you with answers, or if they otherwise express their views or describe their experiences, do not take those as views or experiences that represent those of other members of their group). For one thing, finding information that you can find on your own is not their job; for another, remember that this is a blog about stuff white people do, not stuff people of color do (unless what they do has something to do with racism). That said, if you are a person of color or a white person, feel welcome to relate, analyze, and otherwise share your own experiences with white racism, as long as what you're writing is more or less related to the topic at hand.
15. In general, avoid lengthy, multi-comment, thread-hijacking, and/or nitpicking discussions with another commenter or two. These kinds of discussions tend to drive away other commenters and distract from the topic at hand.
16.If trolling commenters do get through, ignore them. If I delete your bait-taking comment but didn't delete theirs, or if I delete your comment but didn't delete another that was similar to yours, don't get too pissed at me for letting things occasionally slip through the cracks. In these cases, as in all others here, please remember that I'm a human being, and not a comment-moderation robot.
SUGGESTED NEWBIE RESOURCES
Racism 101 for Clueless White People, Written by a Slightly Less Clueless White Person
Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (PDF)
teach their children to act white
Talking about the Hard Stuff (Racism 101)
How to Suppress Discussions of Racism
White Liberal Bingo