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Ummm.... how to interpret this?


Kinsa

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I posted a question to a local group, asking about some pottery classes I had heard about. Several people responded with helpful information, but the last response said, "I hear he's giving a session next week on how to turn bed sheets into robes and hoods." Sooo.... am I to conclude this person is a white supremacist? Is that what they are implying? Keep in mind that I live in a very... "unusual"... area of the country, and it literally COULD be someone teaching how to make bed sheets into something else, innocently. But how would you respond to this comment?

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I would either ignore it, or play innocent..."Oh, that's cool.  I am just looking for the pottery classes though."  Even if the person posting that response is implying that the person giving the class is a white supremacist....that's really just their opinion.  Unless you have met the person and have other reason to suspect such a thing, I don't think it would be right to assume it's so given a single online post. 

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And now, you know, we all NEED TO KNOW what was meant by that comment. You know we aren't letting any mysteries in your life go unsolved. :lol:

 

(edited to add: well I totally understand if those are questions you don't want to ask. Just saying. You gotta quit with these unusual happenings. lol)

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I think the one posting that response thinks the pottery guy is a white supremacist, but I wouldn't assume anything based on one response. Or, the one posting the response is just a jerk and really has no clue who the pottery guy is.

But I'm with pp... now we need to know the truth. 😄

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I posted a question to a local group, asking about some pottery classes I had heard about. Several people responded with helpful information, but the last response said, "I hear he's giving a session next week on how to turn bed sheets into robes and hoods." Sooo.... am I to conclude this person is a white supremacist? Is that what they are implying? Keep in mind that I live in a very... "unusual"... area of the country, and it literally COULD be someone teaching how to make bed sheets into something else, innocently. But how would you respond to this comment?

I would ignore that remark from that person. The person sounds rude and gossipy and even if they claimed he was KKK, I wouldn't trust it. I have learned to ignore gossip unless I hear it from multiple reliable sources.
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I would assume the person is trying to give you a heads up about the instructor in a subtle way. If you were a person of color or other minority, or mother of such children, etc. you would likely want to know. If this were a deal-breaker for you for whatever reason, I would look for further corroboration before making a decision on the class.

 

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I would assume the person is trying to give you a heads up about the instructor in a subtle way. If you were a person of color or other minority, or mother of such children, etc. you would likely want to know. If this were a deal-breaker for you for whatever reason, I would look for further corroboration before making a decision on the class.

 

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Well, I'm about as white as white can be, and my kids are as white as white can be, but this actually would be a deal-breaker for me.  I'm not going to play that game.

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I texted a local friend who is more "in the know" about local stuff than I am.  Hopefully she can shed some light on this for me.  If not, I guess I'll directly send a facebook message to the person who made the comment, asking what they meant by it.

 

We have an interesting assortment of people who live here.  Just a few days ago I was confronted by someone who honest to goodness believes we are all being poisoned by chemtrails, then proceeded to show me his 10-minute video "proof"... which was nothing more than 10 minutes of interesting cloud formations set to ominous music.  Ay yi yi.

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Well, I'm about as white as white can be, and my kids are as white as white can be, but this actually would be a deal-breaker for me.  I'm not going to play that game.

 

Yeah, that would be a total deal breaker for me, I would need to know for sure before signing my kids up for a class with him! I'd message the person who made the comment and ask for further details, and I might also check to see if the guy has a FB page and see what kinds of things he posts.

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I would assume the person is trying to give you a heads up about the instructor in a subtle way. If you were a person of color or other minority, or mother of such children, etc. you would likely want to know. If this were a deal-breaker for you for whatever reason, I would look for further corroboration before making a decision on the class.

 

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I think you meant to say: if you are a decent human being who doesn't want to associate with white supremacists, then you would likely want to know.

 

In your shoes, I'd ask the poster who alerted to you of the issue for more info (request it via PM or even voice/phone if the poster prefers privacy).

 

If the info/links/etc (and your googling) doesn't fully answer your questions, I'd feel free to privately message the teacher in question asking them about a "rumor" you heard about them, and asking if they are a white supremacist. Presumably, a white supremacist would be proud to admit it. Anyone else would be glad to have the opportunity to disavow such an ugly thing (and would then presumably make an effort to clarify publicly their position . . . ) For instance, their business could post images of classes including people of color and/or they can post an equal opportunity / non discrimination / whatever statement (as I did on our business website as soon as we purchased it . . . Businesses routinely make an effort to establish themselves as welcoming . . .) 

 

I'd absuolutely want to know, and I'd avoid having anything to do with anyone -- or their business -- that is a white supremacist or is similarly bigoted.

 

Then again, I am a decent human being. Apparently, not everyone is. 

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ETA - reread your post and realized I misunderstood what you were saying. I'd also investigate further with the person or public information about the teacher first. I thought this was a more nonsequiter comment than it was given what you asked about originally.

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I posted a question to a local group, asking about some pottery classes I had heard about. Several people responded with helpful information, but the last response said, "I hear he's giving a session next week on how to turn bed sheets into robes and hoods." Sooo.... am I to conclude this person is a white supremacist? Is that what they are implying? Keep in mind that I live in a very... "unusual"... area of the country, and it literally COULD be someone teaching how to make bed sheets into something else, innocently. But how would you respond to this comment?

 

That's an odd response.  I would just ask point blank what that person means, because you are not following. 

 

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Yes, the person was most likely trying to imply the instructor is a white supremacist. However, accusations of that type seem to be tossed around pretty freely these days without any substantiating evidence, so I wouldn't believe it without proof.

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Okaaay... weeellll....

 

That response has been deleted. By whom, I know not.

 

I never received a text back from my friend, and I don't remember the name of the person who left the comment in order to contact him (her?) directly.

 

Soooo.... now what? Assume it was someone's sour grapes?

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I also thought KKK or white supremacist.  But who knows really?  The person who said it should have pm'd you and given you a more direct response.  It could be true, or the person could just hold a grudge against the teacher, or it could even be a competing pottery teacher trying to kill off another person's business.  OK, that last was kind of in jest, but my point is that innuendo helps no one.  

 

But the fact is, there could be any number of people any of us do business with who are white supremacists, or hold other unsavory opinions.   Most of the time we would never have a way to know.  

 

 

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Okaaay... weeellll....

 

That response has been deleted. By whom, I know not.

 

I never received a text back from my friend, and I don't remember the name of the person who left the comment in order to contact him (her?) directly.

 

Soooo.... now what? Assume it was someone's sour grapes?

 

Personally, having been warned, I'd do some serious googling on the owner/teacher of the class, and if that didn't answer my question, then I'd message them directly inquiring on the topic. 

 

"Dear Mr. Jones,

 

I am considering your class for my kids, but I wanted to be sure that your program is welcoming to all people, including non-whites, nonChristians and LBGT families. Please let me know where you stand on that.

 

Thanks!! -- Kinsa"

 

If you hear nothing back, then I'd take that as affirmation that he's associated with white supremacy or something similarly ugly.

 

If he's not a bigot, you'll hear back quickly something like, "Of course, we welcome everyone here!! It's so sad that you have to ask!!" In which case, you can sign up comfortably and confidently that you aren't enabling hatred. 

 

If you hear back some mealy-mouth "well, we're a public business so everyone is welcome, but . . ." then he's a bigot AND a coward.

 

If he's a loud and proud bigot, you'll probably get something ugly in return, which I'd personally copy/paste to every appropriate website.  

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If I were that instructor, and somebody was telling others that I was white supremacist, I'd want to know so I could deny it!  I expect he'd want to do that, too. 

 

The first time I read that, I thought of sheets being made into togas or something, but once you add hoods, well.  That takes it a different direction.

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I don't think it's an obscure reference.  Someone is calling him a white supremacist.  It's a serious accusation and would give me a little pause, to be honest. I have never in my life heard anyone accused of that.  Too bad you can't PM the accuser for clarity.

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I posted a question to a local group, asking about some pottery classes I had heard about. Several people responded with helpful information, but the last response said, "I hear he's giving a session next week on how to turn bed sheets into robes and hoods." Sooo.... am I to conclude this person is a white supremacist? Is that what they are implying? Keep in mind that I live in a very... "unusual"... area of the country, and it literally COULD be someone teaching how to make bed sheets into something else, innocently. But how would you respond to this comment?

 

That is not where my mind went. I thought, "what does making robes have to do with pottery?!" :laugh:

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I would assume that the implication was negative but could be based entirely on the instructor's stance on any number of current issues with whom the poster had disagreed. People tend to engage in hyperbole or see things very rigidly when it comes to some subjects. I would think that were the accusation factually true and demonstrable, the person who posted would have been more direct. 

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If I were that instructor, and somebody was telling others that I was white supremacist, I'd want to know so I could deny it! I expect he'd want to do that, too.

 

The first time I read that, I thought of sheets being made into togas or something, but once you add hoods, well. That takes it a different direction.

I'd certainly want to know, also. It'd be pretty awful if someone was just ticked off at him and starting rumors. It'd also be pretty awful to financially support a white supremacist. I'd email him and let him know what was said. You can gauge a lot based on his response.

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That is not where my mind went. I thought, "what does making robes have to do with pottery?!" :laugh:

That was my first thought too! My brain went to 'weird troll'. I had to reread the op several times to get that this person was talking about a specific instructor at all, it seemed like such a random comment. But I'd originally read it to mean she was asking about the availability of pottery classes, not a specific set of them with a specific instructor. It made marginally more sense in that context but still seemed something better suited for a private message or something substantive behind the allegations.

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Okaaay... weeellll....

 

That response has been deleted. By whom, I know not.

 

I never received a text back from my friend, and I don't remember the name of the person who left the comment in order to contact him (her?) directly.

 

Soooo.... now what? Assume it was someone's sour grapes?

I would not assume it was sour grapes, personally. It's not for nothing that someone implies another person is a white supremacist.

 

I mean, I would need more info; I wouldn't jump to believe a remark like that, but I would want to know what experience(s) leads the person to make that remark.

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I think you meant to say: if you are a decent human being who doesn't want to associate with white supremacists, then you would likely want to know.

 

Yes, of course this is what I meant, but I didn't want to open a can of worms. Sorry if my intention was misinterpreted.

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I would not assume it was sour grapes, personally. It's not for nothing that someone implies another person is a white supremacist.

 

I mean, I would need more info; I wouldn't jump to believe a remark like that, but I would want to know what experience(s) leads the person to make that remark.

 

some people DO make such accusations out of sour grapes.

 

It is fair to want more information - both about the person teaching the class AND the accuser.

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Personally, having been warned, I'd do some serious googling on the owner/teacher of the class, and if that didn't answer my question, then I'd message them directly inquiring on the topic. 

 

"Dear Mr. Jones,

 

I am considering your class for my kids, but I wanted to be sure that your program is welcoming to all people, including non-whites, nonChristians and LBGT families. Please let me know where you stand on that.

 

Thanks!! -- Kinsa"

 

If you hear nothing back, then I'd take that as affirmation that he's associated with white supremacy or something similarly ugly.

 

If he's not a bigot, you'll hear back quickly something like, "Of course, we welcome everyone here!! It's so sad that you have to ask!!" In which case, you can sign up comfortably and confidently that you aren't enabling hatred. 

 

If you hear back some mealy-mouth "well, we're a public business so everyone is welcome, but . . ." then he's a bigot AND a coward.

 

If he's a loud and proud bigot, you'll probably get something ugly in return, which I'd personally copy/paste to every appropriate website.  

I would not do that. That is pretty insulting for someone to receive who has never done anything wrong. You have no idea why that person made those remarks. Maybe the teacher was just a Trump supporter, or a Romney supporter, anything. I would let it go unless some real information came your way.

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I would not assume it was sour grapes, personally. It's not for nothing that someone implies another person is a white supremacist.

 

I mean, I would need more info; I wouldn't jump to believe a remark like that, but I would want to know what experience(s) leads the person to make that remark.

 

Yeah, I'm kind of amazed people think these accusations happen all the time.

 

I am living deep in anti-Trump country, my whole Facebook feed is filled with rants and activism.  But to accuse an individual of being  a racist--- that's very rare.  I've never heard someone called a white supremacist. Ever.

 

Having said that, I wouldn't blackball the guy from one random and deleted comment. But I'd be wary. I wouldn't just write it off instantly.

 

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Okay, I've been in touch with my local friend who knows him a little bit, plus I contacted the admin of that Facebook page. Here's what I now know:

 

The admin did NOT delete the comment, so I can only now assume that the comment was deleted by the person who put it there in the first place. Perhaps having second thoughts, or someone called them out on it.

 

The pottery guy is a staunch Trump supporter, anti-government, etc, type of person. He rubbed a lot of local people the wrong way when he asserted his rights over a local issue a few years ago. He was actually a bit of a jackass about it.

 

My friend said she wasn't aware of any white supremacist tendencies in him, but she did note that our area is filled with many liberal hippie types (really, to an extreme) who would view even her as a white supremacist, but especially a Trump supporter. This is true, now that I think about it.

 

Sooooo...

 

I'm led to believe he's just extremely right politically and that it has annoyed some of the locals a bit. I've been looking at his Facebook page and such, and while I'm seeing some bristley political stuff, I'm not seeing white supremacy stuff.

 

Still, I'm going to keep my eyes open, because I'm not 100% sure.

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I see this type of assumptive name calling on my feed quite a bit. People who are absolutely adamant that if you do X you are Y. And they state it in no uncertain terms. (Not to me, but to the greater Twitterverse.) Social media has an increasingly powerful place in shaping people's ideas--IMO it has replaced those daytime talk shows that pulled every worst instinct out of viewers. It can also be used for good, of course. But it is always easier to make anonymous or semi-anonymous accusations than to have a deep conversation with someone with whom you vehemently disagree. 

 

OT: If anyone is interested in the greater concept of social media and influence, you can do a search on the topics of "echo chamber." "Cognitive dissonance" and "bias" will also yield some interesting results. PM me if you want links to materials. It is a nice rabbit trail for anyone studying current events or logic. 

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I would not do that. That is pretty insulting for someone to receive who has never done anything wrong. You have no idea why that person made those remarks. Maybe the teacher was just a Trump supporter, or a Romney supporter, anything. I would let it go unless some real information came your way.

 

I'm guessing you are not a business owner. :) 

 

As a business owner, you live and breathe by your reputation. Although it would be upsetting to hear such a thing, as a business owner, I'd be very thankful to hear about such a rumor as it'd give me a chance to correct it!! 

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I'm finding it rather disturbing people think that a single vague comment on a social media post would mean that the person to whom the comment was directed would then have some sort of imperative to prove that they weren't a white supremacist of all things. That's a horrible accusation, made in a cowardly, cryptic fashion...and suddenly that person's reputation is one the line to disprove it.

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I would ask for a follow-up explanation as innocently as possible, e.g., "you mean re-purposing sheets into bedroom apparel?  That is an interesting idea!  Is there a link to a photo?"  Their answer will probably clarify it for you.

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Small town politics...personally, I'd leave it well enough alone. Take the class if you want to, and go from there. You have the heads up now that he swings to the right and that there's tension in the community over his behavior.

 

We had a similar dynamic in the teeny tiny town I grew up in but it was over people who were liberals.

 

When you all have to mix together year after year, tiny feuds get blown out of proportion sometimes.

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I would ignore that remark from that person. The person sounds rude and gossipy and even if they claimed he was KKK, I wouldn't trust it. I have learned to ignore gossip unless I hear it from multiple reliable sources.

This.  WTH?  I'd ignore the gossipy people and go straight to the source.  For all you know, he makes costumes for a local theater or something completely benign.  Or this person gossiping has a personal problem with him.  You just don't know. 

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