Skip to main content

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.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site