Note from the Editrix

by Latoya Peterson

I’m a little busy. I got some book submissions due, some articles due, some speeches to prep, some conference calls to host, and some other events to schedule and do in addition to my day job and my regular duties here.

I’ve also got an apprentice comment moderator in training.

So imagine my surprise when I look up and see that some people are taking some serious liberties with the comment section. This started with the original Push thread but its been rolling a bit since the IFC Media Project discussion. So now, instead of working on what I need to be working on (like the Cultural Appropriation Series, or the Tricia Rose transcription, or the Roundtable on “The End of White America”) I’m back in the comment section.

With an iron fist. The velvet glove is over on my dresser somewhere.

First and foremost, everyone take a moment to read the blog title and tagline. We are “Racialicious – The intersection of race and pop culture.”

If you think people are “overreacting” to racism, you shouldn’t be here.

If you think that we should be talking about “more important things” you shouldn’t be here.

The key words are RACE and POP CULTURE. We occassionally cover other stuff, but that’s at our discretion. Don’t like what I’m doing? Read another blog. There are millions.

Now, take a minute to read the comment moderation policy.

Particularly these:

2. Don’t address people using racial slurs. And yes, that includes anti-white racial slurs or even belittling/condescending remarks like “white boy.”

“Whitey” counts here, people. I know the lines get murky sometimes when we talk about white America or white supremacy, but take care not to demonize whites as a whole. There are a lot of white readers on this site who may not comment, but who are carefully watching, reading, learning, and trying to understand. I’ll take care of those who aren’t here to engage openly and honestly.

3. Don’t make personal attacks. If you’re not smart enough to win an argument without resorting to calling someone fat, stupid, crazy, or whatever, maybe you should work on your rhetorical skills.

Calling people paranoid counts. Calling people delusional counts. Don’t act like a douchebag. Make your argument and be done with it, no need to make it personal.

5. In general, let’s stay away from long, drawn-out arguments and fights. Once a thread descends into point-by-point refutations and denials, it has (not always, but a lot of the time) turned to crap.

We touch on a lot of really messy, emotional things here that are couched in the guise of pop culture. But seriously y’all, use your heads. Debate and be done with it. I hate having to close a thread, so if I do so, it means something is rotten in Denmark.

8. Don’t respond to a post or comment by saying “why don’t you focus on some real issues like the war/starving children in Africa/police brutality/etc.” Newsflash: this is a blog about race and pop culture. If you’re not interested in discussing the intersection of those two things, please go elsewhere.

We try to cover as much as we can about race and pop culture. We try to cover other things of importance too. That being said, we are not a news organization, we are not funded, we do not have a budget, we do not have writers on salary. Racialicious is largely a labor of love. If you want to see something on here, write it. Send it in. Make sure it fits with the general theme of the blog. Point me to a blogger that’s doing great work I may not know about. All suggestions will be considered.

But I should also mention that all demands will be ridiculed and may get you banned.

9. Don’t respond to critiques about racism by telling the person making the critique that they’re just too sensitive, or they need to “get a life,” or that they need to stop playing the “race card.” We welcome disagreements here on Racialicious, but make an intelligent case for your point of view. Don’t just dismiss others’ views.

Some long time commenters are about to get banned, off the no bullshit. I keep some of you around because I like a dissenting opinion and I like people to have to examine exactly why they came to a position. But that said, some of you seem to think it’s ok to continually show up here and question why something is racist without adding to any other conversations, or generally wreak havoc with generalizations in a thread. Not happening. A mod note is a warning, not an invitation to push the subject.

Special reminder here:

Ditto for comments complaining about the comments – if you take offense to an assumption in a comment, address the speaker directly and respectfully.

If your comment is deleted, please do not post a comment complaining that someone else just said the exact same thing and they got through. Someone putting together a well reasoned comment about how the legacy of slavery has influenced the perceptions of minorities in America is not the same as saying “white people suck.”

And for expediency, I am going add one more note to the comment mod policy – “All comments approved at the discretion of the moderator.”

Commenting here is a privilege, not a right. And if you’re being a jerk or not adding to the conversation, we are not obligated to deal with you. That’s all it is. We have too many smart, informed, engaged, and respectful commenters here to drown them out with people who just want to be belligerent.

And, quite frankly, it drives me insane every time I have to make this kind of announcement. Respect this space, especially if you are not the one contributing to its creation. Respect the other people here. If you do that, everything is fine, and I can get back to working on content and not policing the comments section.