Thursday, July 22, 2010

Well that worked well

Earlier this month, on the 4th of July in fact, a political email went out to a listserv I subscribe to. Shortly after I replied, the original email and my reply were taken down, which irritated me as I assumed (likely incorrectly) that my divergent, liberal viewpoint was the cause of the removal.

I'm guessing I'm not the only one who came to that conclusion, since another conservative political email just came through.

Throughout history America has seen many great leaders and noteworthy citizens change her course. It is through their personal virtues and by their example that we are able to live as a free people. On August 28, come celebrate America by honoring our heroes, our heritage and our future.

Join the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Glenn Beck, Sarah
Palin and many more for this non-political event that pays tribute to America’s service personnel and other upstanding citizens who embody our nation’s founding principles of integrity, truth and honor.

Our freedom is possible only if we remain virtuous. Help us restore the values that founded this great nation. On August, 28th, come join us in our pledge to restore honor at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

I'd like to know what values are in need of restoration. Slavery? Disenfranchisement of anyone who isn't a white, male, land owner?

Man, am I whiny today or what?

I feel like my original conclusion (that the political discussion was the problem, rather than the expression of a political viewpoint) is the one that people reached from the quick take down of that earlier post. Obviously there are some people who think it's still appropriate to express political views, even after being asked not to. I'm sure it's just coincidence the person is a tea bagger.

I'm temped to send this quote from Frederick Douglass:

Your fathers have lived, died, and have done their work, and have done much of it well. You live and must die, and you must do your work. ... You have no right to wear out and waste the hard-earned fame of your fathers to cover your indolence. Sydney Smith tells us that men seldom eulogize the wisdom and virtues of their fathers, but to excuse some folly or wickedness of their own. This truth is not a doubtful one. There are illustrations of it near and remote, ancient and modern. It was fashionable, hundreds of years ago, for the children of Jacob to boast, we have "Abraham to our father," when they had long lost Abraham’s faith and spirit. That people contented themselves under the shadow of Abraham’s great name, while they repudiated the deeds which made his name great.
Frederick Douglass, 1852

But I just don't think she'd get it.


  1. What made me really laugh about that particular posting was that the event is supposedly "non-political". Glenn Beck? Sarah Palin? Doesn't sound non-political to me...

  2. So, I happened to stumble across your blog. I happen to know the original poster of the first "political" e-mail. While I wasn't able to read that e-mail because it (and your response) was removed before I looked on there (so I don't know my opinion, though I'll be honest in saying that I tend to lean conservatively), I know that she was rather rudely chastised for posting a political e-mail on that listserv. Which is sad because there are so many other political e-mails on that listserv that haven't been deleted (that lean in both directions)...So, I guess take comfort in knowing that it wasn't because of you or your beliefs....And, it's mostly just because they felt like deleting that particular one for some reason...

    Aaaaanyway, I hope you are enjoying California and having lots of photography opportunities! I'm sure it's gorgeous out there. :)

  3. Kim, it's my fault it was deleted. :) I was feeling fed up with political postings on there and emailed the administrator prior to Kristine's response. I'm sure the administrator didn't intend to be rude in her email - she'd just returned from vacation and was probably quite busy getting things running smoothly again in their life. Dealing with moderation on the listserv probably wasn't what she was hoping to come home to.

    I can understand Kristine's concern that some people took the deletion of the first post and her response as signaling that political views are still welcome while discussion (especially dissenting discussion) is not.

  4. Hey Kim

    Glad you found me! The first political email and my response are posted here, if you want to see them:

    I'm sorry she felt chastised (though I admit my response probably could also be seen as chastisement). That particular post got under my skin because it was demonstrably false, but that's also why I took the time to respond to it. Political discussion doesn't bother me as long as the discussion stays civil and in the realm of fact, which I didn't think that other post managed. But like most of those sorts of emails I figured the poster was just forwarding something someone she trusts sent out, which is why I tried to be civil (That and I really didn't want to hurt her feelings--if I did, I apologize).

  5. Thanks! I will check it out. I know she wasn't able to read your response because it was deleted. It was the e-mail she received from the administrator that she was pretty hurt by which I understand. After it was announced that it was deleted, I searched for Glenn Beck and Tea party (both one sided political posts) and found at least a half a dozen posts for each. That's why I was frustrated that a post was deleted and someone was "yelled at" for posting political stuff when it hadn't been done previously. Saying that, I never saw the e-mail from the administrator or anything, but I do know that she was really upset by it.

    Ah politics! They bring out the best and worst in people. I value their importance for sure, but I hate when they can come between the ability to have a relationship with someone...but it's difficult because they are something that most often people feel very strongly/passionately about (especially if they know what they're talking about.)

  6. P.S. I completely agree with factual, civil discussions. The truth is important.

  7. If I was the admin I would do the same thing. Because of the past posts that got through the "no politics" policy I would shut down any hint of politics whatsoever. I say this because the list, though admittedly is non-denominational, there are plenty of Mormons on the list and I would just shut down talk of politics no matter what. And I'm someone who likes to talk politics, etc. -- it is just too hard with an audience like that. We don't have the training to do it and it will only end in tears.

    And I saw that crafty tea party rally post sneak its way in and I think it got through because it was a request to see if anyone was going to the same place at the same time -- the reason for the meet up was at the end of the email.

    This is a reminder to me -- I never want to be a moderator of a listserv. Heck, deciding what goes into the RS emails or announced in RS opening minutes is bad enough. I've just started saying no to everything -- that's what Facebook is for.

  8. Kim--again, I'm sorry she felt chastised. Not that it'll make her feel better, but I think hers was kind of a last straw. I don't think anyone wanted to single her out--she's certainly not the most prolific political poster out there.

    Mary--I don't think there's much moderation of the list. I suspect the moderator relies on us all to filter ourselves, which contributes to some of the frustration I've felt since some of us filter more than others.

  9. I actually went through the moderator because I was hoping it would cause her less embarrassment/hurt feelings that way. (Especially since, as Kristine said, she's not been a prolific political poster. Some others, I have to admit, I would've been sorely tempted to let feel any and all embarrassment of a scathing public reminder...) I figured she'd just get a gentle reminder and the post would be removed. Now I'm kinda wishing I'd just sent her the gentle reminder myself.

    I think that the majority of my frustration over the issue has to do with exactly what Kristine said. Some of us filter more than others. And somehow it always seems to be the same end of the political opinion spectrum that's doing all the filtering. Though, really, I know it's just a few people that can't get the guidelines or the reasons for them through their heads and that people of all political opinions actually are filtering.