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Trollbabe

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PostSubject: Advice for a friend - moved   Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:02 am

Slightly off-topic, but a friend is starting a website to combat racism.  He is open to suggestions as to how to use the website.  Any ideas?  It's not intended to organize an event, to raise funds, or to discuss politics.

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LurkingCat

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PostSubject: Re: Advice for a friend - moved   Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:58 am

I don't know if this is even possible - I mean to fight racism without discussing politics Neutral

I work voluntary for a small club (? "Verein" in German) which has the goal to collect and provide information and data about religions/religious topics based on scientific studies to promote tolerance, freedom of religion and "peaceful togetherness" in a plural society. We think information is the key for understanding each other (I know, it is "ivory tower" idealistic thinking of academics...). From my and my colleagues experience it is really hard - impossible - to avoid politics or to appear "neutral" or "objective".

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Trollbabe

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PostSubject: Re: Advice for a friend - moved   Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:11 pm

Thank you for moving this thread to its proper place! (I don't even remember where I started it out.)

So far he has gotten several suggestions having to do with web design, SEO, video content and other technical areas. He's not yet interested in examples of racism, or specific solutions to racism, just ideas on how to use a website to end racism. This is a very expensive and time-consuming endeavor on his part.

While history and examples of racism are useful, political discussion can cause a lot of problems. Visitors to the website may percieve it as an endorsement of a party or candidate. Racism may be misrepresented as a political opinion, rather than a personal issue. And, of course, there's the endless political bickering. This is why I've been very selective about referring other people to him.

Several people have suggested video-heavy content. I think this is useful for reaching young people from industrial nations, but not as effective at reaching Baby Boomers and their elders, or people who don't use a lot of technology.

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Lunakat

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PostSubject: Re: Advice for a friend - moved   Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:27 pm

My suggestion would be to explain some key points to people that are often misunderstood and trip up conversations about racism. First-- the difference between institutional and individual racism. That's a very important distinction. Because any person can be racist-- but it's institutional racism that causes systemic problems.

Second-- I would explain what privilege means, that it just a sociology term. Explain that privilege comes in many different forms-- it isn't just about black or white. That "white privilege" is just a form of privilege-- and that other forms of privilege include able bodied privilege, class/economic privilege, heterosexual privilege, etc.. It's just a way of saying "this is the benefit that you get from being part of the dominant culture"-- but it doesn't mean you never struggled or that your life is easy. It just means there are certain specific things you don't have to worry about that people who are not part of dominant culture do... just like there are thinks a middle class person doesn't have to worry about that a person born into economic disadvantage does. And we have to listen to each other to understand how others' experiences are different from our own.

I think if people can be less personally defensive about those two terms, we could have a larger discussion about racism that was productive.

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Trollbabe

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PostSubject: Re: Advice for a friend - moved   Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:16 am

Thank you, Lunakat! I believe institutionalized racism is similar to the description of the first of eight stages of genocide.

As far as individual racism, that is often supported by the individual refusing to acknowledge their privilege. It's harder to recognize one's own faults than those of society. He expects there will be a lot of website abuse from racist individuals and groups.

He's currently working on how the website should be set up. I think that some of the volunteers want a tech-heavy marketing website. Alternatives include a simple scholarly format.

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Davrille

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PostSubject: Re: Advice for a friend - moved   Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:39 pm

My suggestion is, if he's from the US, he needs to stress that. Racism isn't the same everywhere in the world.
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Nibblet

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PostSubject: Re: Advice for a friend - moved   Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:42 pm

That is a very good point. European racism is very VERY different to American racism. I can't speak for other cultures, but I can take a good guess that this is also the case. If the site is aimed at a specific audience, it is a very good idea to state that right off the bat.

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PostSubject: Re: Advice for a friend - moved   Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:21 pm

Should he have pages or sections for different parts of the world?

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Davrille

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PostSubject: Re: Advice for a friend - moved   Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:02 pm

Eh, I would do different sections for different parts of the world only if he's as familiar with those areas' concepts of racism as he is with the US. Or if he has people who live there posting about it. Otherwise, just have a heads-up that he's only speaking from his native country's perspective.
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PostSubject: Re: Advice for a friend - moved   Tue May 02, 2017 9:23 pm

I think Davrille has a good point. It's easily addressed if your friend just has a page describing himself and his background. It's good to acknowledge that we are all coming from a perspective. So even though his page is generally informative-- it will still be shaped by his perspective, taking into account his country, culture, gender, orientation and ethnicity. I think having an "about me" page would be honest and forthright.

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