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Is it the policy of this site that only liberal, politically correct opinions are allowed, and that any conservative opinions must be censored?

One of my posts was just deleted by the moderators because it expressed a socially conservative opinion.

On this question, Avoiding racist tropes in fantasy, stating that the writer thought that traditional depictions of fantasy creatures like elves and ogres were racist ...

I gave this answer:

Wow, has political correctness really gone this far? I have never even thought about comparing the color of fantasy creatures to the colors of different ethnic groups of humans. Now that you brought this up, every fantasy story I read from now, I'm going to be thinking, "What color are the fragmonupsies?" I don't care what color human beings are. I certainly don't care what color fantasy creatures are.

Ok, given the excessive race consciousness of many today, I suppose it's something to worry about if you don't want to alienate some readers. To me, a perfectly good solution would be to not describe your fantasy creatures in a way that emphasizes similarity to human ethnic groups. But if you want to be safe, go an extra step and deliberately contradict stereotypes. If you think the conventional picture or your description of some creature makes them sound like Jews, than portray them as generous. If some creature resembles Irishmen, make them tee-totalers. Etc.

I was told that my post was flagged as "offensive" and it was ultimately deleted. My understanding of the explanation was that my post was mostly opinion and didn't answer the question.

But of course the question was opinion, "this is racist". Most of the answers were opinion, "you're right, this is racist". How cold one possibly answer the question without saying either "yes you're right this is racist" or "no I disagree this is not racist". (Explicitly or implicitly.)

The selected answer says "I think being aware of the problem is a good first step" and "With that said, I would still encourage you to make the effort. When I was a young FF & SF fan of color, I was pathetically grateful on any of the --excessively rare --occasions that I encountered a legitimate hero of color in any of my favorite books. These kind of portrayals, whether or not you notice them consciously, do make a difference." This answer had a lot more words devoted to opinion than mine but was not deleted.

I did not use vulgar language. I did not insult anyone. I did not make any ad hominem attacks.

I find it difficult to avoid the conclusion that the problem with my answer was not that I expressed an opinion, but that I expressed a conservative opinion, and some people on this site consider that unacceptable and intolerable.

Let me make clear: I'm not criticizing the original poster for asking the question nor those who expressed disagreement with me in the comments. I think they have a right to their opinion, and I think it deserved to be fairly discussed. My complaint is with those who say that it does NOT deserve to be fairly discussed, because anyone who disagrees with them is out of bounds and must be silenced.

Let me also make clear that I am not complaining because one specific post of mine was deleted. That doesn't cost me any money or make my children hate me or anything. I am trying to prompt a discussion about the larger issue, using my post as an example.

Sorry for the long post.

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    As Monica said, that does not answer the question. I'd add that in my opinion it also lacks a good argument to be considered for an interesting frame challenge. – NofP Aug 26 '19 at 18:43
  • @nofp If someone downvoted it on the grounds that it failed to provide sufficient argument for the position I took, I'd accept that. I've had other answers on Stackexchange sites downvoted for such reasons. Sometimes in retrospect I concede that my post was poor. That's fair. But there's a huge difference between "I downvoted this post because it makes an unconvincing argument" and "I demanded that this post be censored because I disagreed with the writer's opinion." – Jay Aug 26 '19 at 19:33
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    If I may speak with honesty, I think you just missed the occasion to start an objective and enriching discussion here on meta rather than a complaint about the deletion of a particular post. I for one care very little about the destiny of your post, but would have very much liked to see a larger variety of opinions on the matter outside the realms of a Q&A session. – NofP Aug 26 '19 at 21:32
  • @nofp My intent was to start a discussion about tolerance and censorship, not to complain about a specific post of mine being deleted. But my title was changed from "political correctness" to "why was my post deleted", and the tag "specific answer" was added, to make this sound like a personal complaint, rather than trying to start a discussion about the general principle using my specific post as an example. Apparently even there I had to be censored. – Jay Aug 27 '19 at 13:08
  • I just removed the irrelevant tag and changed the title. We'll see if I get censored again to put it back. – Jay Aug 27 '19 at 13:09
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    The site has a policy against political soapboxing. Ascribing the asker's motives to political correctness (as opposed to, say, personal preference) frames your answer in a political context. The title of your question here and the first two paragraphs reinforce the notion that your commentary is politically motivated. Issues like race are not inherently political and can be discussed in an apolitical context -- all other answers to that question managed to do it. Please, before you start typing, think about this for a minute. This stuff here is just as bad as rampant PC-ness. – Thing-um-a-jig Aug 28 '19 at 9:40
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    @Jay "My original title was "Is it the policy of this site that only liberal and politically correct opinions are allowed?"" Actually, the original title for this question was "Political correctness"; no more, no less. It's right there in the revision history, which is accessible to everyone who can view this question. – a CVn Aug 28 '19 at 14:13
  • At no point (possibly excluding by yourself within the initial five minute grace period, which does not get recorded at least in the public revision history) was the opening sentence of this question changed in any way. As a friendly suggestion, if your goal is to have a general discussion on an issue outside of the context of your own post or your own posts, perhaps you should reconsider your rather heavy use of first-person pronouns in this question post, and maybe also point to more than one example? – a CVn Aug 28 '19 at 14:13
  • @acvn I didn't say that my "opening sentence" was changed. I said that my TITLE was changed. And as the person who changed it was you, presumably you are well aware of that fact. – Jay Aug 28 '19 at 16:22
  • @Jay Your comment from Aug 27 13:05:50 UTC, on this question, quite specifically said: "My original title was "Is it the policy of this site that only liberal and politically correct opinions are allowed?"" – a CVn Aug 28 '19 at 16:22
  • @aCVn Yes, I made a post here where I mis-stated what my original title was. You may see that right after that I made a new post where I corrected myself. I thought I had deleted the original, erroneous post but apparently not. I just deleted it now. – Jay Aug 28 '19 at 16:23
  • @Thing-um-a-jig On the question that I used as the example for this, the original post said that a certain writing convention was racist. I said that I thought it was not. How is the assertion that it IS racist "not political", but the assertion that it is NOT racist "is political"? So yes, when my post and another post that asserted it was not racist were deleted while posts asserting that it was racist were not deleted or apparently sanctioned in any way, I suspected political bias. Your assertion here appears to be that political grandstanding is off limits, and therefore assertions ... – Jay Aug 28 '19 at 16:27
  • ... that the moderators are acting from political bias is off limits. That is, the moderators can be as political as they want, and no one is allowed to question them on it. The politics may be deliberate or subconscious, I'll readily concede that. I often hear people say, "I don't want to get into politics -- this is just common sense." And then they say something that is highly politically controversial, but no doubt is obvious common sense to people of their political persuasion. – Jay Aug 28 '19 at 16:28
  • @aCVn I did mention one other post on the same question that was also deleted. Yes, for a thorough analysis of this question, one would have to examine all posts that were deleted or edited by moderators. I was trying to start a discussion and used an example I had ready at hand for that purpose. I frankly don't know if there is a way on this site that I can get lists of all the posts that were deleted to study it. I wasn't planning to devote weeks of my time to such a study, but if there are tools available to do it maybe I should. It could be enlightening. – Jay Aug 28 '19 at 16:35
  • Phrases like "political correctness" move the discussion into a political context. This is the problem with reactionary politics. I can have the view "X is bad" on my own, and I can be completely ignorant of politics surrounding X. But if you reject the view "X is bad," because it happens to align with some political theory, you're bringing politics into it, not me. Making points about fiscal conservatism or personal liberty should be easy to do apolitically, but social conservatism is more reactionary to the politics of others. Maybe that's why you get the feeling it's less accepted. – Thing-um-a-jig Aug 28 '19 at 23:21
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Is it the policy of this site that only liberal, politically correct opinions are allowed, and that any conservative opinions must be censored?

Nope! We don't care whether your opinions are liberal, conservative, anarchistic, moderate, fascist, random, or anything else.

We do care about answers answering the question and not becoming platforms for political expression, however. This was explained to you in a lot of detail in comments and later in chat.

I gave this answer:

What you quoted was your first revision. In response to comments asking you to increase the answer-to-soapboxing ratio, you added seven more paragraphs of non-answer. And then a moderator deleted it.

Your answer wasn't deleted for being conservative. It was deleted for being many paragraphs of personal opinion that didn't answer the question with only the hint of an answer buried in there. By the way, do not assume that all the moderators share the same political opinions.

You seem to feel that the question is politically offensive (though nobody flagged it). The question asks:

How can I involve some of these older elements, while leaving behind the racist subtext some of them carry?

The OP feels that there are some racist subtexts and wants to avoid them. The question is about writing to avoid them. Answers have to address that.

The only part of your nine paragraphs that did that is:

To me, a perfectly good solution would be to not describe your fantasy creatures in a way that emphasizes similarity to human ethnic groups. But if you want to be safe, go an extra step and deliberately contradict stereotypes.

If, as moderators and other community members suggested to you, you had expanded that and cut the opining, your answer would have been a valid answer.

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  • I didn't find the question offensive. I specifically said in my post above that I didn't find the question offensive. Quote, " I'm not criticizing the original poster for asking the question." You seem to think that the fact that several people flagged a conservative opinion as offensive but nobody flagged a liberal opinion as offensive proves ... what? I think what it proves is that the conservatives on this site are tolerant and open-minded and the liberals are not. – Jay Aug 26 '19 at 19:20
  • "If, as moderators and other community members suggested to you, you had expanded that and cut the opining, your answer would have been a valid answer." So ... if I had just removed the conservative opinion and left only statements that supported the liberal position, it would not have been necessary to censor me. That is, if I had censored myself, it wouldn't have been necessary for others to censor me. Do you even realize what you are saying there? You just affirmed that, in fact, conservative opinions cannot be tolerated and must be censored. – Jay Aug 26 '19 at 19:23
  • As I pointed out in my post above, the original question was a statement of opinion, and the selected answer expressed opinions agreeing with it. So why is it that my statement of opinion was not allowed while other statements of opinion were allowed? What was the difference between my opinion and theirs ... other than that my opinion was conservative and the others were liberal? – Jay Aug 26 '19 at 19:24
  • I'll concede that adding comments to my post protesting the censorship was inappropriate. The Meta was the appropriate place for that, not the original post. But its disingenuous to say that my post was deleted because of the protests about censorship. You yourself had already told me that my post would "probably" be deleted before I added those comments. And in your post here you make clear that you and others believed my post needed to be censored before I added those comments. – Jay Aug 26 '19 at 19:26
  • "The OP feels that there are some racist subtexts and wants to avoid them. The question is about writing to avoid them." Sometimes the only right answer to a question is to challenge the premise. If someone asked, "How can I make the hero of my story a black character when all black people are criminals?", would you say that the only acceptable answers are those that accept the premise that all black people are criminals? Or would the right answer be to challenge that premise? – Jay Aug 26 '19 at 19:29
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    Five comments, repeating stuff we've already been over in chat? Not gonna re-respond to most of your faulty arguments; you want too strongly to believe that it's about which political opinions are in play. But one thing: unless you are asserting that no fantasy-race trope anywhere has any racist subtexts, then you don't have a frame challenge. The OP said "some" do, not all. If you can't see the difference between that and your black example, then I don't know how we can help you. – Monica Cellio Aug 26 '19 at 19:57
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    " the conservatives on this site are tolerant and open-minded"... I dunno, you don't seem very open-minded about the possibility of racist tropes existing in older fantasy works. Or about the possibility that we're not discriminating against you. – F1Krazy Aug 26 '19 at 20:34
  • @F1Krazy When I say that I am tolerant and open-minded, I mean that I am willing to discuss ideas that I disagree with fairly and openly. I do not insist that everyone who disagrees with me must be silenced. If "tolerance" means that I must agree with everything that anyone else says, than clearly you are not being tolerant when you reject my position. – Jay Aug 27 '19 at 13:13
  • @MonicaCellio Hmm, I don't see how you have replied to any of my points. You asserted that my post was deleted because it expressed an opinion, and not because liberals here disagreed with that opinion. But I don't see where you have ever explained why a liberal opinion was allowed without challenge in the question and in the selected answer, while a conservative opinion was not allowed in my answer. Other than to say that no one flagged the liberal opinion, which, as I pointed out, is irrelevant to the question of whether it would have been flagged if the same criteria applied. – Jay Aug 27 '19 at 13:17
  • Oh, and I just noticed that another answer, expressing an opinion similar to mine, by @aganju, was also deleted. Yet none of the posts agreeing with the liberal opinion were deleted as far as I can see. – Jay Aug 27 '19 at 13:19
  • It seems that your entire answer here is basically, "I don't see any intolerance or discrimination, therefore it doesn't exist." :-) – Jay Aug 27 '19 at 13:21
  • @F1Krazy I would be quite open to the possibility that my post was deleted for reasons other than that the moderators disagreed with my opinion ... were it not that such a theory conflicts with all the available facts. – Jay Aug 27 '19 at 13:23
  • It is great fun, though, to participate in this conversation, where liberals explain how they are so tolerant and open-minded that they must silence anyone who disagrees with them, and that this isn't censorship, because they're just silencing people who say things that are "offensive". "Offensive", of course, being defined as, "expressing an opinion that I don't agree with". As the old joke goes, "Shut up!, he explained." – Jay Aug 27 '19 at 13:25
  • "unless you are asserting that no fantasy-race trope anywhere has any racist subtexts, then you don't have a frame challenge. The OP said "some" do, not all." That would be a valid argument for down-voting my answer. It is not at all clear why that is a reason to censor my answer. That's a reason to say my answer is incomplete or unconvincing. It is not a reason to say that it is offensive. And just by the way, the obvious reply would be, Unless it is "most" or at least "many", then bringing up a stock fantasy character would not bring racist connotations to the mind of a typical reader. – Jay Aug 27 '19 at 14:53
  • ... As long as the writer does not drag in racist allusions herself, there would be no issue. I don't need to assert that no one has ever associated X with Y to say that most people would not automatically think of X when you say Y. There are stores in New York that sell balloons, but few people would instantly think "balloons" when you say "New York". Likewise, if you can identify a few references here and there where a writer used, say, orcs as a symbol for black people, that is unlikely to result in a typical reader instantly thinking "black people" when you say "orc". – Jay Aug 27 '19 at 14:57

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