- Intent of guidelines
The Missouri Green Party strives to make our website and blog a place that is useful, accessible, and welcoming to all visitors.
You do not need to be a member of the Missouri Green Party to comment on the blog. However, you will be held to the same community standards.
We want to reaffirm the Green Party’s commitment to fighting gendered and racial violence as a central part of our political project, and thank the Green members and other comrades who have urged us to live up to this commitment. Cultivating a feminist and anti-racist culture within our organization goes hand in hand with engaging in movements that challenge racism and sexism throughout Missouri, the US, and the world. We hope all visitors agree that this is a top priority.
- Content is encouraged
We encourage the following types of content in comments throughout the website:
- Sharing experiences, advice, and questions related to organizing and political work.
- Reports and discussion of relevant local, national, and international events, including protests, meetings, etc.
- Green Party business, including announcements and reports about the activities of committees.
We want to encourage all visitors to contribute to the discussion; the Missouri Green Party will not reject contributions because they’re not “scholarly” or “eloquent” enough, or because an author isn’t an “expert” — these aren’t the standards of discussion we look toward.
- Listen actively
Close, active listening requires us to focus on the person speaking rather than on what we might have to say and to reserve judgment until they have finished speaking and we are sure that we understand their point of view.
- Share the air
Discussions can only take so much time; therefore, those who are more active speakers in the group need to create room for others to participate.
- Speak/write respectfully
Do not make attributions about people’s motives. This is generally a form of name-calling passing as analysis. We cannot know the reasons that a person expresses an idea or behaves in a certain way. Address the behavior/idea only and be specific.
- Make I statements
There is no privileged place of knowledge from which you speak, no matter how much you may know or think you know, and nobody can speak on behalf of entire categories of people. “I think,” “I feel,” “from my experience,” etc. are all ways of framing your speech that opens up space for the next person to engage in the dialogue.
- Explain references and acronyms
Any acronym should be spelled out at least the first time it’s used in any given contribution, with the acronym listed in parentheses after the spelled out name-- e.g., SNCC can be written as “Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)” the first time it appears in a contribution. Please also try to explain references to groups, historical events, books, etc. that you mention rather than assuming all Green members know what you’re talking about—this can take the form of a footnote or of a link to an external source where Greens can learn more, where lengthier context would be required. The rule of thumb is: try to make sure your contribution would make sense to someone with little to no previous knowledge of what you’re talking about.
- Calling In, Not Calling Out
Calling in, not calling out - acknowledging that we haven't always been skillful in how we address each other when we do and say racist or sexist things, which unfortunately members are going to do, or when they are just oblivious, not as aware. Sometimes we are reactive and get hooked, sometimes we think we need to bop each other on the head to be a good anti-racist or anti-sexist person, some of that might come from ourselves.
- Potential revisions
This website is moderated by volunteer members of the Missouri Green Party website committee. These moderators may ask commenters to revise their contributions if they fail to meet any of the above criteria, or if they include:
- Attribution of ulterior or non-political motives
- Personal attacks
- Excessive dismissiveness (e.g. writing “This is ridiculous;” without making a political argument)
- Sarcasm directed at another group member or at another member’s arguments (Disagreements and debate is welcome, sarcasm can be hard to understand.)
- Use of language and terms widely considered offensive, degrading, or dehumanizing to oppressed groups.
- We think the social norms proposed here will help visitors of the Missouri Green Party website:
- Work across our race/gender/sexuality/class differences in ways that are emotionally supportive and therefore more productive.
- Be much more skilled at handling conflicts-- over behavior as well as over ideas.
- Create an organizational culture where every person feels that they have important ideas and something to offer the group.
This process will help us not only to be more aware of how privilege operates, but more skilled in working with each other in emotionally supportive and transformational ways.
- Additional resources--crediting those who came before us...
For more information on how to cultivate a feminist, anti-racist culture and to “call someone in” versus “call someone out” please review the following:
A Guide to Calling-In
3 Things To Consider When Choosing Between Calling Someone Out Or Calling Them In
Calling IN: A Less Disposable Way of Holding Each Other Accountable
What is Feminist Process?
Missouri Green Party members may submit blog posts. Members of the Communications Committee review, solicit and approve all blog postings for publication. If you have a blog entry submission, please email the Communications Committee today.
Guidelines for Commenting on Missouri Green Party's Blog
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