This community was created as a response to RaceFail '09, an explosion of discussions of racism in SF/F fandom. It became clear that there was a need for a place on LJ for absolute beginners to learn how to talk about race and how to unpack their assumptions. This is that place. There is no need to be familiar with RF '09 or SF/F fandom to participate in this community.
Due to the nature of the material discussed here, and its tendency to lead to heated discussion that can prove to be, either constructive, or problematic in nature, membership is moderated. Anyone with nothing but snark communities and stupid_free on their profile will have to work a little harder to convince us they're really here for the right reasons and not the lulz. If your membership request has been denied, you are welcome to drop us a note telling us why we should reconsider you.
If you are accepted into this community, it will be assumed that you have read and agree to abide by the rules and codes of conduct set forth here and understand that violations will be met with anything from being told that your ass is showing (and by ass, we mean privilege), to having your posting abilities suspended, to being banned from the community.
Like the discussion of racism, this community is ever-changing and shifting as time passes. As such, these rules are subject to change at any moment.
Community Rules/Code of Conduct
1. Racism, as used in this community, refers to institutional/systemic racism. That is, abuse of power plus prejudice and the privileges that power affords to certain individuals over others. Individual prejudice by members of groups not in institutional power is "bigotry". Charges of "reverse racism" are usually trolling tactics and will be eyed with a metric ton of skepticism, unless it is evidently clear that said person is a clueless n00b, in which case, they will be schooled. It is highly recommended that you read the series of posts listed below from The Angry Black Woman to have a clearer understanding of what framework we expect to be used here.
2. This community is dependent on the willingness to educate oneself and accept being educated by others. Because of that, there will be a lot of stupid, hurtful things being said. Make no mistake language that is harmful to People of Color (POC) will be called out and explained to the best of our abilities.
3. Remember that calling out problematic language and view points is meant to be a learning experience, and that we are all here to learn from one another. Deleting entries, under any circumstances, is not allowed except by moderators. Doing so will result in a warning, suspension of posting privileges, and possibly a ban. The same goes for deleting or screening comments. This is a zero tolerance policy. If you need something deleted, come to the open thread at the moderator community and request it.
4. While civility is always strongly encouraged, it should be expected that you will not feel comfortable here. The conversations that take place are not always filled with warm fuzzies. Part of being here is acknowledging that no one owes you a hand-holding through these issues, nor are they required to take your feelings into consideration. Confronting racism almost always includes a degree of discomfort. If at any moment you feel attacked or overwhelmed, take a step back, breathe, remember that it is not about you, and re-engage.
5. That being said, personal attacks are NOT ALLOWED under any circumstances. Inability to follow this rule will result in suspension of posting privileges, and in some situations, a swift ban. Calling someone out on something that they have said that is either problematic or obviously racist is NOT a personal attack.
6. Please, no macros or Lolcats. Also, no responding to posts with "Just Google It!” While these topics can be frustrating, and the discussion can become heated, the intention, above all else, is education.
7. Because many of the initial members of this community are Americans, the conversations may, at times, seem very Americentric. We understand that race issues manifest in different places in a variety of different ways, and we want to encourage posts and viewpoints from outside of the US. However, if you try to argue that racism doesn't exist in (the UK, Canada, insert your country here), we will laugh at you.
8. First and foremost, this community is for beginners at discussing racism. That being said, if you think racism isn't real, was real but is now over, or is justified, this may not be the community for you.
This is also not the place for anti-racism "allies" to prove how awesome you are. If you think that you have "gotten it", then chances are you have not. If you have no interest in self-education and simply seek to derail conversations and flaunt theory, you will not last very long in this community. There are at least two cranky mods in this community who will not tolerate such actions from those who should know better. Furthermore, if you have joined to simple to troll, derail discussion, or throw temper tantrums when no one sees it "your" way, make no mistake about it, the ban hammer will be swift, and will not be merciful.
9. Bannings will be announced with the username of the ban-ee and an explanation of the reason for banning. This is not for humiliation purposes, the rules about personal insults still apply. Also, any trolling of personal journals is strictly prohibited. Going to someone's personal journal to pick fights or insult them is against the TOS and will result in a permanent ban and a report to LJ Abuse.