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Aji and PDNC drafted this diary and proposed rule.

Last week, Markos proposed new rules for DK: DRAFT community guidelines, comment period, which included a rule for bigotry. This new rule on bigotry would replace the existing rule which states:

This is a site for adults and language is not generally policed here, in terms of "shit," "fuck," "asshole," or any of those other family-unfriendly words. Avoid "fuck" in headlines to avoid triggering browser filters of users who log on at their workplace. Anti-semitic, anti-Arab, racist, sexist, ableist and heterosexist language, however, is unwelcome. (Emphasis added)
Markos solicited comments by our community on his new proposed bigotry rule:
3. Bigotry.
Any language designed to denigrate someone on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, physical appearance, etc. is prohibited. Leave that shit to the Republicans.
Some Kossacks who are members of groups the rule is intended to protect have reservations about the language used and what its actual effects will be.  Their reservations come from a lifetime of experience with these matters.  Since Markos has asked for public comment on the proposed language, some of us have decided to try tweaking the language in a way that better fulfills its intent, and provides for easier and fairer enforcement.

Our proposal:

Any language, pictures, videos, cartoons, "jokes" or similar mediums of expression that denigrate, stereotype, or characterize recognized or historical targets of sexism, racism, discrimination or prejudice on the basis of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation/gender identity, religion, nationality, physical appearance, etc. is prohibited. Leave that shit to the Republicans.

This rule recognizes that this is not a post-racial or post-sexism world, and will be interpreted with that spirit and intent.

Our proposal focuses on the medium of expression, intent, and targets of bigotry and recognizes that we do not live in a post-racist/sexist world that might foster equality of application:

1.  Medium of Expression. The DK draft limits medium of expression to "any language."  However, bigotry at DK is expressed in more than just words. Oftentimes, bigotry is expressed by other mediums many would not consider to be words, such as pictures, cartoons etc. There have been pictures, for example, which objectify women or are based on sexist, racist etc memes/stereotypes. "Jokes" are included because while technically words, some believe that a joke can't be an expression of sexism or racism when it really is one of the tools used to spread, embed and institutionalize sexism and racism. After all, if racism or sexism is a funny joke, then it's not really offensive or inappropriate.

2.  Intent. The DK proposed rule states the intent required is one of "designed to denigrate," which indicates intent or purpose so if one makes a racist/sexist comment but did not intend to do so, or did not consider statement racist or sexist, or did not know it was bigoted statement, then under the existing draft, it is not bigotry at Daily Kos.

However, a statement or action is racist or sexist without regard to the speaker's intent. To keep intent as part of bigotry is to sanction the common refrain of did not intend to denigrate or viewing things thru the eyes of dominant group. If one is unaware that a statement is offensive, the community has been good about accepting an apology.

3.  Target of Bigotry.

The DK draft proposal of "Any language designed to denigrate someone" opens the door for racists and sexists to use this rule to support the status quo power structure. (Emphasis added)

Our proposal makes it clear that the targets of the bigotry are the "recognized or historical targets of sexism, racism, discrimination or prejudice."

4.  We are not in post racism or post sexism world.

The use of the word "someone" to identify the target of the bigotry incorporates the idea that bigotry rules should be applied equally to the dominant group and the non-dominant groups based on the underlying assumption that we are in a post racist/sexist world. Under the DK draft rule, jokes about white racism, for example, would be treated the same as racist/sexist jokes about the historically targeted non-dominant groups. However, history, context and power matter. When a man is arrogant, paternalistic, or sexist, women might call him a mansplainer. If DK is asking women to refrain from using such words under an approach of equality of rule application, then it is asking women to defer to the existing power structure without regard to history or context and under the assumption that such equality is needed even when no such equality exists in real life.

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