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Should MN have a People of Color Section?

(180 Posts)

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KickAssAngel Sat 10-Sep-16 19:28:35

Firstly: I am deeply ashamed that it has taken me 13 years to even think of this.
Second: My apologies if there is such a thing but I looked under the Talk headings and couldn't see one.

Like most of mainstream UK/Westernized culture there are certain POV or voices on MN which are more dominant. In an attempt to create a bit of space for people who somehow don't fit that kind of profile, MN has a few areas for those people. Cat lovers have the litter tray, there's a special needs area, and feminism topics (and others). I see those areas as places for people who are particularly interested in those things as being able to post there more specifically about their lives, hopefully (although not always) without being railroaded and drowned out by people who don't share those experiences.

BUT - I see nothing that provides people of color with a space.

I wouldn't want to invade there, but as someone who is white, and very aware that I pretty much just get the 'white story' from all areas of society, including MN, is this something that should be established?

I would see the potential benefits as 1. People who might want to share their experiences with others who would more immediately understand/agree with them could do so, and 2. I would want to lurk and hear the 'voices' of POC in order to drown out the white dominance I've grown up with.

I really hope I have raised this in a sensitive and appropriate way. I was prompted by a couple of things - one thread here about why women may not want men joining in a lot, which got taken over by a load of men joining in - and also, in RL, when a white friend shared some problems she's had as the partner of an African American, which really shocked me. I realized after that story that I have NO idea just what it is like to live with everyday racism, and then noticed how there isn't a space for that discussion on MN.

Would posters want this, or is MN so 'white' that other forums are being used instead?

beeny Sat 10-Sep-16 19:30:05

I would like this. I am asian lawyer.

MargoReadbetter Sat 10-Sep-16 19:32:06


UmbongoUnchained Sat 10-Sep-16 19:32:39

No. I think it's important that white people join in discussions on race and see complaints from other races.

MrsMargeSimpson Sat 10-Sep-16 19:32:42

Why? In what way would that help integration and discourage segregation?

I can just see it now: "fuck off to the foreigners section you ****"


UmbongoUnchained Sat 10-Sep-16 19:33:54

Also my skin colour is not a disability or a niche topic hmm
Why can't I just join I with everyone else?!

beeny Sat 10-Sep-16 19:33:56

I didn't get the impression it was to make you feel alienated just concentrate on a different perspective.

Realitybitesyourbum Sat 10-Sep-16 19:36:07

Can any colour join in? I am white...well...more of a pale pinky peachy colour actually. If not, why not? She we all segregate ourselves?
And how do you know what colour people are when they are talking about their neighbour or their cat or their kids wetting the bed?
Why do people continually want to label, separate and differentiate? We are people, red blood, beating hearts. Different problems, different life experiences but we need to tackle issues together, not separately.

nancy75 Sat 10-Sep-16 19:36:46

Sorry I think this would be a backwards step, liking cats or knitting are niche interests skin colour isn't

Amandahugandkisses Sat 10-Sep-16 19:38:00

But how would you section it?

It's a bit divisive. We've all got things in common surely?

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Sat 10-Sep-16 19:39:56

What a dreadful idea!

Tiggeryoubastard Sat 10-Sep-16 19:40:51

On the step parenting board there's a thread almost every week whining that people who aren't step parents shouldn't be on there.
And 'People of color'? Really how horribly American and I just don't mean the spelling.
What about other 'others'? Redheads? Tall people? the knobbly kneed? Those pesky little Germans?

wobblywonderwoman Sat 10-Sep-16 19:41:53

reality spot on.

Why does it matter? I don't think it should and I have family of white and mixed heritage and it just doesn't really make an issue (maybe beauty things like hair type but surely a thread within style and beauty would suffice?)

ALemonyPea Sat 10-Sep-16 19:42:07

I don't think it is necessary, I don't think about the colour of people's skin when posting.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 10-Sep-16 19:43:27

There's a Scotnet, no? and is craicnet Irish?

I would have no problem with a people of colour topic.

Whatslovegottodo Sat 10-Sep-16 19:44:49

I don't know. I dont think it would be any more divisive than having single parent or lgbt or disability boards.
People are not restricted or forced to use those boards but sometimes they may wish to find an area easily where people with more similar experiences can chat, just like with the above sections. Of course for chatting about bed wetting or cats people of any colour can chat I don't think that the OP was suggestion restriction!

AnyTheWiser Sat 10-Sep-16 19:47:29

I think it's a terrible idea, sorry. It's a way of othering.
The great thing about the internet is that people have no preconceptions about others aside from what you have already said.

KickAssAngel Sat 10-Sep-16 19:49:06

I was thinking more of a safe space where certain topics could be discussed, NOT as a form of segregation (really didn't think the OP read like that).

Because there ARE endless examples of everyday racism. I like to be able to write about something that has pissed me off about sexism in the fem. area, knowing that there are more likely to be people there who 'get it' than is some other areas of the board. I was wondering if there should be an area for people who might want to vent about the crappy everyday racism they experience, knowing that a certain section would be safer or more empathetic about those issues.

I actually think there's a very strong argument for making some areas for xxx people only, but that is impossible to patrol. I would have no problem with being banned from one part of discussion because I'm white - I have plenty of privilege without needing to chime in on a discussion about how fucking annoying it is to be asked 'where are you from' yet again.

Because I know that I'm so ignorant of really understanding what the experience is of growing up in the UK as anything other than the white privilege I grew up with, I would genuinely want to hear some more about that, but if making a safe space meant me being told to keep out of it, I would.

missyB1 Sat 10-Sep-16 19:49:12

People of colour? ( I refuse to use the American spelling), what colour were you thinking of? Any in particular? As I'm sure you know all humans have some kind of colour / shade.

I can't stand attempts to segregate and isolate people, I'm all for inclusion not exclusion.

janethegirl2 Sat 10-Sep-16 19:50:49

Sorry, people's skin colour is totally irrelevant in my opinion. I work with many people with various skin tones and it does not matter in real life. It's like saying does hair colour matter! Ok I know some people do not like 'gingers' but that's their own predujices (spelling!!)

Gruach Sat 10-Sep-16 19:51:30

Fuck off with your othering ...

So when anyone not white askes a question about mortgages or finding a dentist or a suitable course at university someone else (having advance searched them,) can say "Why don't you post on the POC topic?"

Absolutely the stupidest, stupidest post in the whole history of the Internet.

Mittensonastring Sat 10-Sep-16 19:52:23

Stop with your liberal white guilt it's well meaning but misplaced. I'm mixed race and have no desire for a section. I have experienced racism in my life many times but I don't want a section to make me feel even more "other" thanks.

Gruach Sat 10-Sep-16 19:52:52


NoMudNoLotus Sat 10-Sep-16 19:53:12

Errr - no. Awful idea.

LunaLoveg00d Sat 10-Sep-16 19:53:50

Well I think I'm being discriminated against by MN because there's not a left-handers board. All you majority right handed people are oppressing me. hmm

Nobody's denying that racism exists, but black people, Asian people, people of any other ethnicity experience exactly the same parenting problems as white people.

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