1. Erik Ratcliffe


    Okay, here’s where I’m coming from…It’s hard to defend a group that is arguing against racism and sexism when that same group is pointing at you (“you” meaning “me”) saying you’re (I’m) racist and sexist based on the color of your (my) skin and what’s between your (my) legs.

    I don’t defend racists and sexists, plain and simple, so the more a group promotes and tweets and re-tweets and blogs and writes articles about how rage against one demographic is a-okay, the more they look like a group I should be AGAINST. When fighting a corruptive or damaging thought process or behavior, it’s generally best to not exhibit either. Unfortunately, some do, and they make it difficult for me to defend them.

    Yes, I see this as a simple binary issue, one that is about right vs. wrong. If a demographic is singled out as being a worthy recipient of racism and sexism, I consider that to be wrong. In my opinion, there is no room for complication or conditions here. By proposing to discuss this with me at length, I read that as disagreement with this viewpoint. Perhaps your response was about the conditional statement in my tweet and not about debating the correctness of singling out one demographic for racism/sexism. If so (and it appears to be the case), I apologize for misreading your response.

    I will not debate this with anyone, though. People are either against racism and sexism or they aren’t. Giving a pass to anyone is a one-way ticket to my shit list, and I have no plans to change this policy.

    You have made some assumptions about my motivations that were incorrect. I appear to have made some assumptions about your motivations as well. Neither of us was right to do this. However, now that you have immortalized me on the Internet as being a pig, you get the last laugh. Be proud.

    This is progress, right?



    1. kronda

      @Erik, I don’t know if you’re sexist or racist or anything else. I’m not qualified to make declarations about your character. If I had assumed you were sexist, I wouldn’t have bothered trying to initiate a dialogue.

      What I can say with certainty is that I made an honest attempt to engage in dialoge about something that *for me* is more complicated than the all or nothing scenarios you describe, because I have lived a different experience.

      I can also say with certainty that your response was disappointing, frustrating and made me sad.

      It’s hard to talk about this stuff if your only frame of reference is all or nothing– that people either ARE racist or sexist or they’re NOT; That being anti-sexism/racism means you could never behave in a way that was sexist.

      In reality, a lot of good people with good intentions are still capable of BEHAVING in ways that perpetuate disenfranchisement of less privileged people. It’s not for me or anyone else to decide if their intentions were malicious or not. But it is perfectly reasonable to call out behavior that you find objectionable or hurtful and attempt to explain why and ask them to stop. That’s what I’ve done in this post.

      Your unwillingness to even hear what I had to say about it illustrates some of the points I made:

      1. That we can change people’s attitudes just by having reasonable conversations with them. I tried that and it didn’t work. That happens a lot.

      2. That lack of empathy makes it hard to create those dialogues. (Maybe if we had a closer relationship, you would have been more willing to listen? I can’t say).

      Things I didn’t do:

      1. Call you a pig.
      2. Promote the idea that rage against an entire group is positive.
      3. Labeled your behavior in any way except in reference to the direct effect it had on me personally.

  2. Erik Ratcliffe

    Okay, you win.

    When and where. Be prepared to receive words as well as give them. And I expect you to listen with an open mind, as I’m sure you expect the same from me. Anything less will be a waste of two peoples’ time.

    You have my email address. Please use it.


  3. kronda


    Thank you very much. Your apology is much appreciated.

    I don’t doubt that there’s a rich personal history that informs your views on all sorts of topics. And it was never my intention to invalidate those. In fact my entire point is that I wish more people would recognize that very fact and cut people a little slack. And that doing so doesn’t necessarily mean changing your opinion about something, it just means being willing to listen and trying to see the other point of view.

    As for your requests:

    I would have given you specifics if you’d asked but again, it was too long for Twitter, hence the opening question. This point was brought up in the session I facilitated at Barcamp and I have a whole other blog post worth of thoughts on this topic. You will not be mentioned. 🙂

    2. I tried that last time and it didn’t work. The guy just blocked me on Twitter, told everyone how scary I was, and never spoke to me again.

    So I tried something different this time for two reasons; first, your ‘offense’ amounted to, “this one time, Erik didn’t listen to me,” and on the scale of 1-10 bad things people do to each other, it’s well below 1. Second, the argument that you can only confront people privately and that you have to avoid ‘public shaming’ even for things that happen in public, is one of the straw horses that fuels the status quo.

    In a large majority of cases, minorities who try to deal with things this way are ignored or worse.

    I don’t agree that sharing someone’s Twitter handle is ‘personal information’ when it’s the third result of a Google search. But rest assured that I would never publish your email address, phone number or address (if I knew it), nor would I ever publish a private email that someone sent me, unless I felt that person was threatening my safety.

    Lastly, I have a very long and detailed response to your first comment and a bunch of your tweets that I’ve been thinking about all weekend and have spent the past 90 minutes writing. I deliberately wrote it before looking at your second comment. (Only first time commenters are moderated btw, so your comments are unfiltered after the first one.)

    I’m happy to say most of it is unnecessary at this point so I’ll be sending it to you privately, as food for thought. Feel free to respond or not, as you wish.

    Thanks again.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled cats.


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