Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Fighting Back, Finally

 

I sent this email today. For context, I had cut some biographies (for space concerns in a press release) of participants in a conference and my woke African colleague wanted to keep the full bios. So she evoked “protocol” and “cultural sensitivities,” which enraged me. So, two days later, for the first time in two and a half years, with our boss in copy, I retaliated! (I intend to start preparing a formal complaint for racism at some point: in the past, there have been a lot of “white people/girl” / westerners / Eurocentricity/ heteronormativity / etc., etc. comments; everyone knows white people are her big bugbear, although she’s married to one?!).

Dear Person Who’s On My Case all the Time because I am White and American,

This email has bothered me and I have decided to respond to it, formally and in writing.

You are directly implying that by eliminating the full bio of each speaker I was being “culturally insensitive.” This is the same category of charge you often level in my direction, and I find it extremely offensive. I have good reason to believe that this constant nettling on your part is due to 1. my skin color 2. my birth nationality and 3. what you think you know about my personal convictions and beliefs, all of which aspects of myself (immutable characteristics as well as personal choices) have come under fire from you repeatedly over the past two and a half years.

My first question to you is: had the bio in question been Jane Doe (USA), Professor and Director of the School of Blah at the American University of Washington DC, would eliminating it be deemed “culturally insensitive?” I think not.

My second question is: could your totally legitimate argument have been made adequately without the personal slight to me? And the answer is yes: “Regarding the title, one of the differences in this situation is protocol. Even if this is not the case, I would think what do we lose by using the titles they themselves gave us?”

I have never once in the past two and a half years that you have worked here ever willingly slighted you, or made any personal remark to your detriment, but welcomed you warmly and supported you. I responded to emails from you during the whole of my maternity leave, even to the point of responding on the hospital bed while waiting to give birth to my son.

Politics have no place in the workplace, and diversity of opinion is personally enriching. My freedom of conscience and my liberty to disagree with you on many points is enshrined in French as well as international law. 

Best regards,

Person who just grew a spine

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  1. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Good that you’re pushing back. No more retreats. I think you also say that at this point the term “cultural sensitivity” is used to bully and to silence opinions so it is no longer a valid criticism.

    • #1
    • November 20, 2020, at 11:19 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. Tocqueville Coolidge
    Tocqueville

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Good that you’re pushing back. No more retreats. I think you also say that at this point the term “cultural sensitivity” is used to bully and to silence opinions so it is no longer a valid criticism.

    That’s exactly what these people do. Cultural insensitivity for cutting bios so they fit on the page !? (By the way I cut all of them not just the academics from Syria and Tunisia!) I think being locked down has fired me up!

    • #2
    • November 20, 2020, at 11:22 AM PST
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  3. OldPhil Coolidge

    Tocqueville (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Good that you’re pushing back. No more retreats. I think you also say that at this point the term “cultural sensitivity” is used to bully and to silence opinions so it is no longer a valid criticism.

    That’s exactly what these people do. Cultural insensitivity for cutting bios so they fit on the page !? (By the way I cut all of them not just the academics from Syria and Tunisia!) I think being locked down has fired me up!

    I know it’s made me pretty crusty. I was just warned that if I made one more “complaint” on our community FB page (i.e., notified the admins that a post violated the group’s guidelines, which about half of them do) I’d be asked to leave the group. I told him “you can’t fire me, I quit” and left on my own. It’ll certainly be good for my BP.

     

    • #3
    • November 20, 2020, at 1:02 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. Tocqueville Coolidge
    Tocqueville

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Tocqueville (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Good that you’re pushing back. No more retreats. I think you also say that at this point the term “cultural sensitivity” is used to bully and to silence opinions so it is no longer a valid criticism.

    That’s exactly what these people do. Cultural insensitivity for cutting bios so they fit on the page !? (By the way I cut all of them not just the academics from Syria and Tunisia!) I think being locked down has fired me up!

    I know it’s made me pretty crusty. I was just warned that if I made one more “complaint” on our community FB page (i.e., notified the admins that a post violated the group’s guidelines, which about half of them do) I’d be asked to leave the group. I told him “you can’t fire me, I quit” and left on my own. It’ll certainly be good for my BP.

    What kind of FB group? We all have to go on Parler. 

    • #4
    • November 20, 2020, at 1:42 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  5. tigerlily Member

    Good for you!

    • #5
    • November 20, 2020, at 3:03 PM PST
    • 1 like
  6. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Good for you-great response.

    My detractors never put it in writing, while I was employed. My blog never seems to get much pushback from Leftists, and I am very incendiary, and pull no punches.

     

    • #6
    • November 20, 2020, at 3:51 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Chapeau!

    • #7
    • November 20, 2020, at 6:17 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  8. Limestone Cowboy Coolidge
    Limestone Cowboy Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Aux barricades! Elle ne me depassera pas cette fois!

    Well and firmly said, Tocqueville. 

     

    • #8
    • November 23, 2020, at 8:49 AM PST
    • 1 like