Occupy UC Davis/Talk

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This page is for discussing the contents of Occupy UC Davis.

At the risk of even more people getting defensive:

I find it super interesting that nobody thought to start a Talk page before completely white-washing what was said. This made it appear that all editors involved were operating on the assumption that the discussion did not belong on the page at all and that it didn't even warrant any dialogue. Next time, you might want to ask for the input of the person whose words are being trivialized and erased instead of rushing to remove it.

Also, I thought we weren't supposed to throw the racist accusation around here lightly, but apparently I was wrong about that. It's extremely telling (and disheartening) that I am the one who was called racist (by multiple people, no less), and yet people are rushing to the defense of someone who managed to twist the situation and victimize himself after I had the audacity to call him out on his callous remark. He (and others) derailed the conversation and made it all about him(/them) (which, by the way, is common when folks are uncomfortable talking about their privilege), when it really should be about the operation of white (and other) privilege(s) within and around the Occupy movement.

I am pleased with the changes CP made after the page was whitewashed, and I might add some more when I am not drowning in work. I think it should be obvious enough to go without saying, but if editors disagree with these changes please discuss them here rather than outright deleting them again. In the meantime, try to understand what others are saying before hastily labeling their attempts to educate about privilege as somehow inappropriate to the wiki.


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2012-04-05 13:09:25   I agree with what MW says here. First she was attacked for pointing out a problem with a dismissive remark that had been made about a serious concern. Then had her words wiped from the page without discussion that included her. I think we need to work a little harder at communicating with fellow editors and giving them the benefit of the doubt. —CovertProfessor

2012-04-05 13:38:18   I stayed out and watched people talking past each other and both sides being outraged. I'll give the benefit of the doubt that all outrage was legitimately felt in order to move forward. I always feel that legitimate discussions of race should not ever invoke any claims of racism by participants: otherwise you can't honestly present views or ask ignorant questions. That said, they provoke strong emotional responses. I think most people have made statements to the effect that the conversation got too personal and should end. Go buy an iced chai and sit on the porch of Delta if you want to debate it; text on the wiki doesn't seem to be really working for this particular topic.

I wrote the above, then got an email on the subject. I'm pretty clearly skipping over some of what I feel about the issue with that second sentence. If we really want to open this up, I'll be more specific. I'm making an assumption that we want to close the door and move forward. I could be wrong on that, and certainly am not trying to handwave or ignore people's concerns. The following is not intended to derail or dismiss anybody:

The second is the practical matter of the content of the wiki. We are writing about Occupy and specifically the name of the organization. Dropping "educating a person on the wiki" or "clarifying my position for a specific editor" entirely: do the few paragraphs in that section present the issues with the name accurately and with an honest attempt to be fairly comprehensive about the various viewpoints of people in Davis? If not, what needs to be added or removed? —JabberWokky

2012-04-05 17:11:11   I'm pretty sure that I asked one of your allies, Meggo, to revise the page. So I definitely wasn't looking for a whitewash.

I think it's pretty cool that you have the audacity to stick up for your beliefs. It's very not cool that you did so by categorizing me. And those sort of negative prejudices of ethnic groups don't belong on the wiki, because they're offensive. I like the current version much better because it discusses how privilege influences beliefs without resorting to stereotyping. —BrentLaabs

2012-04-05 18:42:28   I said I wasn't getting into this. Dammit.

My intent was not to whitewash anything. To sum up my motivations behind the edits that are being condemned, I quote Evan. "[T]he conversation got too personal and should end. Go buy an iced chai and sit on the porch of Delta if you want to debate it; text on the wiki doesn't seem to be really working for this particular topic." It was some back and forth sniping that did a poor job of explaining what debate happened within the movement. Let's make this about issues, not people. —WilliamLewis

2012-04-05 19:58:48   This whole thing makes me sad. I'm glad I haven't been involved. There were some pretty harsh and/or dismissive actions and reactions on both sides. It reminds me of the sexism discussion on the Identity page.

I've got to agree with JabberWokky. Experience indicates that the wiki is not a good medium for having these discussions. Prejudice and privilege are highly charged topics, and people (including myself) tend to be more than a little sensitive about anything that might seem like an accusation or stereotype once the discussions get going.

I'd second JW's suggestion of sitting down at Delta and talking things out. Or throwing a Wiki BBQ. Something where people can meet face to face and carry out a discussion with all the sincerity, emotion, and nuance that can't be fully conveyed in text. —TomGarberson

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