I understand a few people had some concerns about some things they may have heard (if you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry about it). So I wanted to take this opportunity to address the matter now.
I want to thank all of you for making this community the success that it is today. And the awesome thing about this is that we are just getting started.
The reason I'm making this post is because I understand a few of you may have heard rumors/wank/and other nonsense about myself from an incident that happened two years ago. While I typically don't acknowledge, rumors gossip and outright lies, I get that a few of you have some legitimate worries.
If you don't know what I'm referring to, then don't worry about it. For those of you who do, let me address these issues now.
Two years ago, there was an incident where after a disagreement on community forum, an Individual began trolling my personal LJ. After she was asked to leave and subsequently banned, she linked my blog in a post on her LJ. Shortly thereafter anonymous insults began popping up, homophobic slurs were made against me and my friends, one of them a bisexual woman, by a culprit who is notorious for flaming people's blogs.
Most of the comments I couldn't delete fast enough, they were so disgusting. Suffice to say, it got ugly on both sides. Things finally ceased, when my friends and I decided to ignore them and the original Individual asked her friends to knock it off.
It should be noted, that I ran into that Individual again about two years later. And much to my surprise (and I'm sure hers) we had a very respectful and cordial discussion. It was clear to both of us, that we weren't the same people we were two years ago. We had both moved on and as far as we were concerned, the matter was closed.
So you can imagine our surprise when the white culprit began using this incident from two years ago to undercut a POC movement against racism.
Most people know this person's rep on LJ and they caught on to the fact that he and few others were trying to derail a movement against racism because of a hidden vendetta/agenda, considering his involvement in instigating/precipitating matters, taking comments out of context, and simply lying.
The reason I haven't dignified the wank with a response up until this point was because I had no intention of engaging any nonsense that might derail the movement. Because as far as I'm concerned, this isn't about one person, this is about POCs. I also haven't responded because since the start of this community I've had certain LJ members flame my blog and my email with both racist and homophobic slurs and I knew addressing the issues at that point would probably not be a good idea.
However I realize that a few people might have some legitimate concerns and that I owe them an explanation.
Anyone whose come to me in private, I've listened to them. We've had some excellent discussions and I've learned a lot.
As far as the incident in question goes, it was two years ago. Both the Individual and I have moved on. She would rather forget the matter and so would I and the fact that others are using this as an excuse to derail an effort against racism is absurd. Did the Individual and I believe we acted in good faith on our respective sides? Sure. Was that our best and brightest moment? Of course not. Knowing what we know now, would either of us have handled the incident in the same manner? Absolutely not.
We're not the same people we were two years ago. It doesn't matter who was right or who was wrong, it shouldn't have escalated to the point it did. I personally shouldn't have allowed it to escalate to the level it did and in that regard, I fucked up. Both of us realize that and we've both have mentioned on our respective journals that we would've taken certain precautions to keep matters from reaching the points it did. We wouldn't have seen eye to eye, but it wouldn't have retrogressed to the manner it did.
But you live and you learn.
But I get that my less than brightest moment may have a left a few people with the wrong impression. A bit about myself. I've managed four different communities which have been deemed safe places successfully. I understand that there is a different level of responsibility dealing with a cross-section of people and I've regularly campaigned against racism, sexism, homophobia and virtually any other oppression on my blog and in real life. I'm a proud member and volunteer of several equal rights group. And those experiences have helped me evolve as a human being.
Am I above reproach? Of course not. None of us are. But I'm genuinely trying to be the change I wish to see in the world. We've all made missteps and will probably continue to do so. That's why we learn and move on.
This community is not about one person. It's not about an unrelated incident from two years ago. It's about an ideal. None of us are perfect but that doesn't negate the fact that we're doing some excellent work here. Does this mean we're going to see eye to eye on everything? Of course not. I don't see eye to eye with every other member here. We're trying to have a global discussion and come to a universal understanding on topics but that can sometimes be problematic because of different life experiences, perspectives, cultural influences, context. Which is why anyone who appoints themselves as the Morality/Thought Police (whatever that is) sets themselves up for a fail. What might be a hot button issue for one person for a myriad of valid reasons might not be an issue with another person for a myriad of valid reasons because of said context. So we're all working and trying to figure things out as best we know how.
What we can agree on here is that everyone will be treated with the utmost respect and dignity. So I don't care who you are, what your story is, your gender, race, orientation, sexuality, etc. if you're coming to FOC_U in good faith to discuss and exchange ideas about RaceFail and celebrate FOC, you will be welcomed, celebrated and treated with utmost respect and dignity. Anyone who is looking to derail, flame, attack or cause issues, will not be permitted here.
While the focus of this community is anti-racism, as we're dealing with a cross-section of people from all over the world, we understand intersectionality. I myself am a proud LGBT, and my two excellent co-mods are women of color.
Hopefully I've assuaged your concerns and I'm putting this "issue" to rest once and for all.
Thank you again for making this community what it is. And believe me when I say that I'm humbled to serve each and everyone of you.