agentcom wrote:You make excellent points on all three counts. I have terribly mixed feelings about how we handle "bigotry" on this site. And there are no easy answers or inherently "better" ways of dealing with it.
There is also the matter of personal importance of an issue. For me, geographic- and race-based bigotry is the most important. I'm not exactly sure where to put religion, but it's probably after the previously mentioned. Following that would be sexual preference, and mental ability would be far, far down on my list. There is a reason for this ordering. If I were to paint in very broad strokes, I would say that the sheer amount of human suffering caused by bigotry in these categories is roughly proportional to my antipathy toward the respective form of bigotry.
I don't disagree with your ordering and its justification. But ordering to begin with, presupposes the idea that we cannot target all instances of bigotry equally. I don't think this is true on Conquer Club. All that we have are words, and it's equally easy (or difficult) to enforce what specific words are allowed.
Also, words that insult personal intelligence are myriad. What distinguished "retard" from "dumb" or "moronic." Your response may be that it is a medically recognized condition. Well, first, so was "moron." Second, many things are medically recognized restrictions on the human body to function mentally or physically. However, "Dude you look like a cancer patient" probably shouldn't be classified as bigotry.
This remark is valid too. The pejorative words used to refer to such people have changed over time. It wasn't always "retard," and probably won't always be "retard." But this is just the nature of the beast; that's the word people do
use now, and it is
currently seen as offensive. The main difference is that I do think people form a specific connection to people with mental disabilities when they use that word, as opposed to "moron" (although this may be a reactionary result of the fact that the community got upset about the term in the first place). I can't prove this in all cases, but I think it is prevalent.
However, if this is the issue that strikes home for you, I understand a different ordering. Perhaps (and I'm not saying metsfan thinks this way), you feel that genetic traits are more important because they cannot be controlled. Perhaps one of the issues has personally affected you more. Regardless, everyone is going to have their own feelings. CC is in the unenviable position of turning those feelings into policy against a backdrop of competing interests, such as the "open forum" nature of the internet that is prized by many as an avenue for unrestricted or less restricted speech.
Actually, this is not an issue in which I have a personal stake (in the sense that I don't have friends or family that have such conditions). I just strongly object to bigotry in general. For me, it's always the intent that matters. If someone uses the word "retard" as an insult, in an attempt to link you to someone with a mental disability, with the unspoken assumption that it's bad
to be that way, I consider that bigotry. That being said, it's usually really hard to tell whether someone was intending to make this connection or not, so an outright ban is the cleanest way to go about it. I don't like censoring free speech in general, but if we're going to have a bigotry rule, we should surely be consistent with it.