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Subject: Something all BGG members have in common rss

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David Banks
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There have been a lot of threads recently focussing on the topic of various minorities - be they racial, sexual etc. - and their level of representation within the BGG community. There have also been a couple of threads sarcastically poking a bit of fun at said threads, which unfortunately have both degenerated rather rapidly into insult-slinging matches of insensitivity (or worse) vs. virtue signalling/hyper-sensitivity.

I have nothing but sympathy for people who have genuinely been made to feel uncomfortable (intentionally or otherwise) within a board-gaming context, but it saddens me to see such threads cropping up more regularly because I don't believe they help address the issues they raise but instead serve to highlight things that make us different.

As Morgan Freeman put it brilliantly recently, the best way to stop racism is to “stop talking about it.” (obviously this only works where said discrimination is relatively minor).

Almost all of us here are likely in a minority in our lives outside BGG (being geeky or nerdy or socially awkward or grown adults who play with toys or all of the above). So please, let's focus on the love of games that unites us and not things that make us different.

P.S - Any gamers of any minority, or otherwise, in the West Sheffield (UK) area who are short of opponents are welcome to get in touch because I am very much in a game-playing minority in my social circle.
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Shaun Morris
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dpb100_12 wrote:
There have been a lot of threads recently focussing on the topic of various minorities - be they racial, sexual etc. - and their level of representation within the BGG community. There have also been a couple of threads sarcastically poking a bit of fun at said threads, which unfortunately have both degenerated rather rapidly into insult-slinging matches of insensitivity (or worse) vs. virtue signalling/hyper-sensitivity.

I have nothing but sympathy for people who have genuinely been made to feel uncomfortable (intentionally or otherwise) within a board-gaming context, but it saddens me to see such threads cropping up more regularly because I don't believe they help address the issues they raise but instead serve to highlight things that make us different.

As Morgan Freeman put it brilliantly recently, the best way to stop racism is to “stop talking about it.” (obviously this only works where said discrimination is relatively minor).

Almost all of us here are likely in a minority in our lives outside BGG (being geeky or nerdy or socially awkward or grown adults who play with toys or all of the above). So please, let's focus on the love of games that unites us and not things that make us different.

P.S - Any gamers of any minority, or otherwise, in the West Sheffield (UK) area who are short of opponents are welcome to get in touch because I am very much in a game-playing minority in my social circle.


So you're going to stop talking about racism by commenting about how people are talking a lot about racism?

I get your point but it's flawed logic. If you don't want to talk about racism and discrimination then simply don't talk about it.

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David Banks
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morris9597 wrote:


So you're going to stop talking about racism by commenting about how people are talking a lot about racism?

I get your point but it's flawed logic. If you don't want to talk about racism and discrimination then simply don't talk about it.



But I can't ask people to stop talking about it so much without at least mentioning it once.
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morris9597 wrote:


So you're going to stop talking about racism by commenting about how people are talking a lot about racism?

I get your point but it's flawed logic. If you don't want to talk about racism and discrimination then simply don't talk about it.



I think your response is out of context. The OP is just suggesting he noticed a lot of topics about race, sexuality, etc. and that if everyone stops talking about it, There will be less division as long as there is equality. If no one mentions not talking about it, some people may never think about not talking about it as a solution. (Of course if there is inequality, talk about it!)
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morris9597 wrote:
So you're going to stop talking about racism by commenting about how people are talking a lot about racism?

I get your point but it's flawed logic. If you don't want to talk about racism and discrimination then simply don't talk about it.


OP isn't talking about racism, he's talking about not talking about racism.
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Morgan Freeman's a great actor. Not the best advisor on social issues, though.
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Dave Lartigue
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dpb100_12 wrote:
As Morgan Freeman put it brilliantly recently, the best way to stop racism is to “stop talking about it.”


You know who else wants us to stop talking about racism?
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Legomancer wrote:
You know who else wants us to stop talking about racism?

Oooh! Oooh! I know this one! I know this one! Pick me! Pick me!
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It's becoming a bit too touchy feely at times, that's for sure .
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Shaun Morris
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Alextnorris wrote:
morris9597 wrote:


So you're going to stop talking about racism by commenting about how people are talking a lot about racism?

I get your point but it's flawed logic. If you don't want to talk about racism and discrimination then simply don't talk about it.



I think your response is out of context. The OP is just suggesting he noticed a lot of topics about race, sexuality, etc. and that if everyone stops talking about it, There will be less division as long as there is equality. If no one mentions not talking about it, some people may never think about not talking about it as a solution. (Of course if there is inequality, talk about it!)


Yes, the Op is suggesting there have been an abundance of posts about race and discrimination here on BGG (a trend I've noticed as well), but his topic is "Something all BGG members have in common" and then he doesn't talk about what we have in common. So the OP wants us to stop talking about racism as a strategy to end racism (which honestly is just ignoring a problem that will not ever go away) and instead talk about those things that unite us while not actually discussing that which unites us himself. That means, that whether intentionally or not, the OP has just created another thread about racism and discrimination in the gaming community and the best way to combat it.

OP clearly had good intentions but is ultimately unsuccessful in achieving his goal. He should have just come on and said "Hey, I notice and influx of posts about our differences, let's talk about that which makes us all the same. I'll start with the most obvious: We all love board games!" Now that would actually get people talking about that which we have in common and get people off the topic of race and discrimination.

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David Banks
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Legomancer wrote:
dpb100_12 wrote:
As Morgan Freeman put it brilliantly recently, the best way to stop racism is to “stop talking about it.”


You know who else wants us to stop talking about racism?


The problem with talking about discrimination (not just racism) so much is that people start seeing it everywhere. It becomes peoples' go-to explanation for anything they don't like or feel uncomfortable with.

- Not every group that is majority white/black/Chinese/Indian etc. is racist, perhaps those people just like some cultural connection with their peers.
- Not every group that is majority male/female is sexist, perhaps those people relax more easily around the same gender or like to discuss topics more easily understood by people of the same gender.
- Not every group that is majority young/old is ageist, perhaps those people just want to hang around with people they feel they can relate to better or share more in common with.
- Not every group of board-gamers hates non-gamers, we just want to play with people who enjoy games too.
etc....

Discrimination and prejudice should be challenged where it occurs, but perhaps we shouldn't always be so quick to suspect the worst.
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Shaun Morris
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dpb100_12 wrote:
morris9597 wrote:


So you're going to stop talking about racism by commenting about how people are talking a lot about racism?

I get your point but it's flawed logic. If you don't want to talk about racism and discrimination then simply don't talk about it.



But I can't ask people to stop talking about it so much without at least mentioning it once.


But you don't mention it once. You made your entire post about it. You barely even reference our common love of games. Instead almost the entirety of your post is about how we're divided. I understand your goal and I think it's a good goal that we should focus on what unites rather than divides us, but you just didn't do that well with this post. I'm betting you're going to find that this post has the exact opposite effect you were shooting for as it's going to incite further argument rather than get us talking about games. I mean look at the comments below. How many are actually discussing games and how games unite us?
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Shaun Morris
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zappshmeow94 wrote:
morris9597 wrote:
So you're going to stop talking about racism by commenting about how people are talking a lot about racism?

I get your point but it's flawed logic. If you don't want to talk about racism and discrimination then simply don't talk about it.


OP isn't talking about racism, he's talking about not talking about racism.


Which ultimately is still talking about racism. You can't talk about not talking about a topic without actually talking about the topic because it's still the topic of the discussion.
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Opening a post about a topic by saying "we shouldn't talk about this" is akin to saying "what I have to say is the final word on the subject and there should be no disagreement".
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You're going to have to cite that "brilliant" Morgan Freeman quote, because I don't understand how racism ends by not talking about it. I could be wrong.
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Shaun Morris
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Drift Marlo wrote:
You're going to have to cite that "brilliant" Morgan Freeman quote, because I don't understand how racism ends by not talking about it. I could be wrong.


http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/blackhistory.asp

The quote as presented in OP is out of context. Freeman's not saying we should stop talking about racism but rather we should stop talking about race.

WALLACE: How are we going to get rid of racism until …?

FREEMAN: Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man. And I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman. You’re not going to say, “I know this white guy named Mike Wallace.” Hear what I’m saying?
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ElAdoranSureshot wrote:
Opening a post about a topic by saying "we shouldn't talk about this" is akin to saying "what I have to say is the final word on the subject and there should be no disagreement".


Where exactly in the original post does he say this?

To get back on topic, it's apparent that we all have too much time on our hands
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Perry Fergin
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I read a story once about some kid in pre-school who came home and told his mother he had made a friend. He was really excited about this kid. When his mom took him to school the next day, she asked him to point the kid out. He had trouble describing the kid, but finally said something like, "It's that one, in the red sweater."

It turned out the friend was the only black kid in the school.

The point is that this kid didn't see his friend's color as an issue at all. Just like he might not notice what color hair or eyes his friend has, he paid no attention to his skin color.

I think this is really what Morgan Freemman, and David, are talking about.

Take your kid, show him a picture of a person, and say, "Do you see this person? He's totally normal, and we should think no differently about him." Your kid will immediately wonder why he should have thought differently about this kid, although he might not have before.

There are certain cultures where redheads are discriminated against. (I read a story of a guy who was engaged to a brunette, when her brother let slip she was actually redheaded. The family had dyed her hair since she was a little girl, and never spoke of their "secret shame".) In American culture, it's completely a non-issue, because we don't make it one.

The idea here is that if we stop referring and classifying people by ethnicity or color, it will be a non-issue. Just like we don't define redheads as a different race or ethnicity, we should try not to do the same based on skin-color.

Of course, in order to make this change, we will need to talk about it, because we are very far from this ideal. As far as the world has come towards this goal, racism is alive and well.

The racists have defined people based on skin-color, and mistreated them (and still do.) In response, the opponent of racism have used their terminology to combat their discrimination. But maybe we are at a point in the struggle where we need to abandon that, and really embody the ideal of judging people only on the content of their character. We will still need organizations to fight racism and racists, but why not change the names? Make the NAACP something like, "National Association of the Advancement of All People" or something like that.

I think this is the misunderstood sentiment behind the "All Lives Matter" proponents. It isn't to say that black lives don't matter, or that white ones matter more. Rather, it is an appeal to not define anybody by color. As long as any group is singled out as different, there will be people who hate it. That's just human nature. Our goal should be to remove all divisions, even when used in a positive sense, in order to bring real equality. Until we do that, there will always be disunity, and hate.

Edit: grammar correction
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Mark B
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dpb100_12 wrote:


The problem with talking about discrimination (not just racism) so much is that people start seeing it everywhere.


That's like saying once we discovered bacteria, we blamed so many illnesses on it. Talking about these real social problems is essential.

Unfortunately, respectful discussion can devolve into rhetoric quickly. The problem is not what we discuss, it's how we discuss it.
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Mark B wrote:
dpb100_12 wrote:


The problem with talking about discrimination (not just racism) so much is that people start seeing it everywhere.


That's like saying once we discovered bacteria, we blamed so many illnesses on it. Talking about these real social problems is essential.

Unfortunately, respectful discussion can devolve into rhetoric quickly. The problem is not what we discuss, it's how we discuss it.


I think dpb100_12 worded his response poorly, but ultimately he's correct. If you look for racism in everything and everywhere you will undoubtedly find it. Racism is an ideology, it's not tangible, but like all ideologies it can manifest itself in tangible ways. The problem when you look for the existence of an ideology though is that ultimately, you're interpreting what you see a certain way.

If we take Anita Sarkessian for example, she once said in an interview that everything is sexist, there is nothing that isn't sexist. This view is predicated on the idea that since the system that created the culture and society we live in was and remains sexist then it must follow that everything in and about our culture and society must therefore be sexist. The same perspective could be applied to racism, that since the culture and society we live in was created by a racist system then it follows that everything in and about our culture and society is racist.

With a worldview such as this though, you'll start falsely attributing evidence of discrimination where it doesn't exist. Think of like this, we know the Holocaust was a real and horrible event, yet there are quite a large number of people who deny that it occurred, and present evidence to support their ideas.

Now, this isn't a perfect comparison, because we know the Holocaust occurred and that the deniers are flat out wrong, whereas with racism it exists and often manifests itself in very subtle ways. This of course is part of the reason why people see racism everywhere, because we are trying to root out all of the subtle ways it's entrenched itself in society, but just like you can start feeling your phone vibrate in your pocket only to find it was a phantom vibration, the same can be said of racism. Just like your phone though, where it does often times actually vibrate, so too does racism actually permeate our society and culture, often in unexpected ways.

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morris9597 wrote:
(...)
If we take Anita Sarkessian for example, she once said in an interview that everything is sexist, there is nothing that isn't sexist. This view is predicated on the idea that since the system that created the culture and society we live in was and remains sexist then it must follow that everything in and about our culture and society must therefore be sexist. The same perspective could be applied to racism, that since the culture and society we live in was created by a racist system then it follows that everything in and about our culture and society is racist.
(...)


Not to detract from your point, but I hate it when people take this quote out of context. If we add the leading sentence and another after that, the quote now reads

Quote:

I sort of joke about how it was the most liberating thing that ever happen to me and also the most frustrating for everyone around me, because like when you start learning about systems everything is sexist, everything is racist, everything is homophobic and you have to point it all out to everyone all the time, so there is a good year of my life. There is a good year in my life where it was just most obnoxious person to be around.


She recognizes that what she did was annoying and tells a story about it, nothing more.
I still agree with your point.


When I post on BGG, I post as a gamer. I don't post as my sexuality, race, gender, ownership of certain electronic items or favourite brand of whey protein, and while all of them are part of what defines me as a person and indeed may be - and were - very important attributes in other contexts, for boardgaming they are superfluous pieces of information. Similarly I don't care about your gender, sexuality, race or whatever.
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Mosch wrote:
morris9597 wrote:
(...)
If we take Anita Sarkessian for example, she once said in an interview that everything is sexist, there is nothing that isn't sexist. This view is predicated on the idea that since the system that created the culture and society we live in was and remains sexist then it must follow that everything in and about our culture and society must therefore be sexist. The same perspective could be applied to racism, that since the culture and society we live in was created by a racist system then it follows that everything in and about our culture and society is racist.
(...)


Not to detract from your point, but I hate it when people take this quote out of context. If we add the leading sentence and another after that, the quote now reads

Quote:

I sort of joke about how it was the most liberating thing that ever happen to me and also the most frustrating for everyone around me, because like when you start learning about systems everything is sexist, everything is racist, everything is homophobic and you have to point it all out to everyone all the time, so there is a good year of my life. There is a good year in my life where it was just most obnoxious person to be around.


She recognizes that what she did was annoying and tells a story about it, nothing more.
I still agree with your point.


When I post on BGG, I post as a gamer. I don't post as my sexuality, race, gender, ownership of certain electronic items or favourite brand of whey protein, and while all of them are part of what defines me as a person and indeed may be - and were - very important attributes in other contexts, for boardgaming they are superfluous pieces of information. Similarly I don't care about your gender, sexuality, race or whatever.


I would still disagree with you on the context of the quote. My example was to point out the worldview she has where everything is sexist. She never states anywhere in that video that this view she holds is incorrect, only that her behavior in constantly pointing it out was obnoxious and annoying to her friends and family. She still regularly posts to Feminist Frequency and maintains her viewpoint that everything is sexist, racist, and homophobic, she has simply become more selective in choosing when and where she points it out.

But that's a separate argument and I'm willing to agree to disagree.
 
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wamsp wrote:
Morgan Freeman's a great actor. Not the best adviser on social issues, though.


Although Morgan Freeman has a soothing voice and played God and the President of the U.S., I would not conflate him with being a bastion of great social ideas. I am agreeing with this statement on us being wary about considering Mr. Freeman our adviser about social issues.

I also disagree that not discussing something will make it go away. Not talking about a friends problems with alcoholism will not make your friend get better. A Non-Intervention would not be the key in my opinion. Many times discussing an issue helps and the reason why we don't understand someones point of view might be because we are unable to empathize with someone and maybe this can be alleviated by discussion/conversation. Ignoring a problem can cause it to fester.

I get the premise of 'not discussing' racism/sexism to eliminate it, but it in my opinion is like turning a blind eye to it. I do not think we need a safe place to confront troubling topics but to face them head on with thoughtful discussion.
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morris9597 wrote:
Mark B wrote:
dpb100_12 wrote:


The problem with talking about discrimination (not just racism) so much is that people start seeing it everywhere.


That's like saying once we discovered bacteria, we blamed so many illnesses on it. Talking about these real social problems is essential.

Unfortunately, respectful discussion can devolve into rhetoric quickly. The problem is not what we discuss, it's how we discuss it.


I think dpb100_12 worded his response poorly, but ultimately he's correct. If you look for racism in everything and everywhere you will undoubtedly find it. Racism is an ideology, it's not tangible, but like all ideologies it can manifest itself in tangible ways. The problem when you look for the existence of an ideology though is that ultimately, you're interpreting what you see a certain way.

If we take Anita Sarkessian for example, she once said in an interview that everything is sexist, there is nothing that isn't sexist. This view is predicated on the idea that since the system that created the culture and society we live in was and remains sexist then it must follow that everything in and about our culture and society must therefore be sexist. The same perspective could be applied to racism, that since the culture and society we live in was created by a racist system then it follows that everything in and about our culture and society is racist.

With a worldview such as this though, you'll start falsely attributing evidence of discrimination where it doesn't exist. Think of like this, we know the Holocaust was a real and horrible event, yet there are quite a large number of people who deny that it occurred, and present evidence to support their ideas.

Now, this isn't a perfect comparison, because we know the Holocaust occurred and that the deniers are flat out wrong, whereas with racism it exists and often manifests itself in very subtle ways. This of course is part of the reason why people see racism everywhere, because we are trying to root out all of the subtle ways it's entrenched itself in society, but just like you can start feeling your phone vibrate in your pocket only to find it was a phantom vibration, the same can be said of racism. Just like your phone though, where it does often times actually vibrate, so too does racism actually permeate our society and culture, often in unexpected ways.



I agree with you 100%. I just wanted to point out one defense (but not excuse) for those who see racism everywhere:

If you look back at prejudice and racism as it manifested itself, the racists always had "logical" excuses to present their racism as something else. Think of the cops in the old South who would arrest minorities and blame it on some flimsy pretext. Think of the literacy test that was required to vote. (If you've ever seen the test, the questions are worded so ambiguously that it's impossible to pass if the grader doesn't want you to.) They always blamed their prejudice on something else, but those who wanted to admit the truth really knew what was behind it.

This is why people say those opposed to illegal immigration are racist. This was an old excuse to turn away various ethnicities.

Mind you, I still agree with you. This has become a witch hunt. A lot (not all) of these claims of racism are unfounded. (I, myself, oppose illegal immigration, but not based on race or ethnicity.) i just wanted to point out where these feelings come from.
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morris9597 wrote:
Drift Marlo wrote:
You're going to have to cite that "brilliant" Morgan Freeman quote, because I don't understand how racism ends by not talking about it. I could be wrong.


http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/blackhistory.asp

The quote as presented in OP is out of context. Freeman's not saying we should stop talking about racism but rather we should stop talking about race.

WALLACE: How are we going to get rid of racism until …?

FREEMAN: Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man. And I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman. You’re not going to say, “I know this white guy named Mike Wallace.” Hear what I’m saying?


Good point. The quote was taken out of context.
 
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