The R-slur: I would like clarification from staff

Discussion in 'Issues & Reports' started by grunesdragon, Dec 19, 2020.

  1. grunesdragon

    grunesdragon New Member

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    (Blue server)
    People keep using & defending their use of the R-slur, often transitioning to "snowflakes are so sensitive" talk when someone asks them to stop. Aside from the issue of the users themselves, both times I've seen this happen over the past week while playing, the staff response has been... weak. I am concerned about staff's stance on that word based on how the issue has been handled in global, and I would like to hear more about how moderating rule 4, especially pertaining to slurs, works.

    First time it was late hours, someone kept saying it and arguing with users about it, I messaged the mod online and they said they'd warn if they saw it happen again. I can kind of understand wanting to see it yourself before doing anything, but also... the chat logs are right there aren't they? So is it more of a "getting caught" issue than a "doing a bad thing" issue?
    Second time (the next day) a helper was very gently asking [a different] person to stop using it before a mod said to move the conversation on. While this is an OK way to stop an unsavory conversation, we wouldn't have been arguing over social issues if the guy saying the R-slur hadn't been basically allowed to continue doing that.

    As much as I have enjoyed applecraft over the past, year or more? I wouldn't be able to continue with the server if this shit's* allowed to continue to fly, it would just leave a really bad taste in my mouth trying to enjoy playing. I hope I do not need to explain to staff why it's reasonable to ask this be taken seriously.
    (*this shit being, not shutting down users saying that word with the same severity I imagine for someone saying other slurs that are often considered more serious?)
     
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  2. grunesdragon

    grunesdragon New Member

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    PS for clarification since I realize I wasn't super clear: The 2nd time, the user continued to say the word after the helper asked them to stop, and seemingly (from global) nothing happened other than being asked again and again.
     
  3. DWoodhouse

    DWoodhouse Member

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    devil's advocate here, but moron is a similar term, which also used to be indicative of people with mental disabilities, and that's not counted as a slur nowadays
    Retard even has a seperate original meaning, as in "to make something slower:"
    "A rise in interest rates would severely retard economic growth."

    So i don't think it really is a slur, although I'd understand why staff would ask people to use it in moderation, like other SWEAR words.
     
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  4. Deery

    Deery New Member

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    While you are playing the devil's advocate here, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you. Moron is not the same as the word retard. While a moron can be used to harmfully describe someone with mental disabilities, it hasn't historically been used to discriminate those with mental disabilities in the past. However, retard, retardation, etc, has historically been used to discriminate against those with mental disabilities. While retard does have different meanings, as you said to "make something slower" or to "slow growth (economic or in baking)," the context clearly matters. Calling someone a "Retard" is clearly meant to be offensive. (Whether it actually offends you or not- it is clearly meant to anger someone, or make them feel bad.) There are many words we view nowadays as slurs which have alternate meanings, and while the words may not be harmful on their own, the way in which they are used can come off as derogatory and harmful.
    However, I do think it's important for mods/helpers to determine whether or not the word was/is being used to be harmful or as a form of harassment. Versus outright banning/muting someone for saying something the mods/helpers may disagree with.
     
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  5. DWoodhouse

    DWoodhouse Member

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    counterpoint:

    In modern use, retard is a pejorative term either for someone with a mental disability or for someone who is stupid, slow to understand, or ineffective in some way.[1] The adjective retarded is in the same way used for something very foolish or stupid.[2][3]

    It was previously used as a medical term. The verb "to retard" means to delay or hold back, and so "retard" became known as a medical term in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to describe children with retarded mental development.[4] Up until around the 1960s, the terms "moron", "idiot", "cretin" and "imbecile" were all genuine, non-offensive terms to refer to people with mental intellectual disabilities and low intelligence. These words were discontinued in that form when concerns arose that they had developed negative meanings, with "retard" and "retarded" replacing them.[5][6] Since then, the terms "handicapped" (United States) and "disabled" (United Kingdom) have replaced "retard" and "retarded".

    As you can read, retard is following the same route as moron and idiot.
     
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  6. Wille

    Wille Member

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    imo if someone was using it in a negative way towards a person with mental disabilities that would be unusually cruel and terrible, but just because something is offensive doesnt make it a slur. If you agree that what it means is someone with mental disabilities, then you must also agree that it is literally just a word that means exactly that.

    if you replace the word retard as an insult with "mentally disabled", you would come full circle and have to ban that word too.

    it is objectively undesirable and unfortunate to be someone with mental disabilities, hence why it is used as an insult. calling someone stupid, or a moron, or idiot, works the same way. all insults work the same way if they refer to something real and objectively undesirable. this isnt true for racial/sexist/discriminatory language as those words carry with it more than just a referral to something real, it carries implications that are generalizing.

    i wouldnt use the word on the server though cause staff made it clear that its a no no.
     
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  7. R0B1N0

    R0B1N0 Epic Gamer Boi Staff Member Moderator

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    Eyo!

    Apple (the owner) is okay with using the r-word, as long as its not used as an insult.
    Good to explain: The server is still kind of 18+, we can use other words like fuck/bitch.

    If you disagree. fight apple not me thx
     
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  8. tacocatermelon

    tacocatermelon Member

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    too dumb to read all this word
     
  9. BariSaxMatt

    BariSaxMatt Member

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    tl;dr dont use retard as an insult/slur
     
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  10. grunesdragon

    grunesdragon New Member

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    I could stand here and do the right thing - explaining what makes a slur a slur, why "r*tard" is one and why it's upsetting - or I could just fucking give up. Being outnumbered doesn't make me wrong here, but fuck, man.
    It is beyond unfortunate that the community and Applebranch feel this way. I've invested enough time into my base I kinda don't want to leave, esp. as AC has cool rares other servers don't have, but I'd also rather support a server that understands ableist discrimination as being as real, dangerous and harmful as say homophobia. (Unfortunately it is more normalized.)

    I am grateful for the wholesome work & moments the staff & community I have been around to witness over the last year-ish and I will miss the regulars.
     
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  11. Deery

    Deery New Member

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    I agree with you- personally for me it's extremely unsettling to see. I don't think we should be making fun of people for anything they cannot control. Using ableist slurs is extremely similar to homophobic, racist, and sexist remarks/slurs. Each slur/remark (or word for that matter) carries a history behind it, and in the case of slurs, often it is a road of discrimination. These words are extremely harmful mentally and emotionally. While I personally do not live with any disorders, I know and love people who do. I had a boyfriend who was deaf, and you wouldn't believe the amount of ableist remarks/slurs that I heard thrown at him, and other members of the deaf community.

    I think it's just important to take in account all people's lived experiences and try our best to be respectful to one another.
     
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  12. Foekoe

    Foekoe New Member

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    I agree I've never witnessed this I mainly play on blue. Does this happen when I'm offline I dunno and probably won't ever I do hope no one dies because of someone saying a bad slur about them because that's really bad and your really dumb and deserve to go to hell if you hurt someone with words and they commit sucide because of you. Please don't be those people I don't want anyone being hurt physically or mentally.
    sometimes you just gotta ignore them and never let them come into your life you be you
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2020
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  13. EveAlex2015

    EveAlex2015 Active Member

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    you can go like 'haha i'm so retarded' but not like 'fuck off dumb retard'
     
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  14. Amaris

    Amaris New Member

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    Yeah I play on purple and I've seen the word used often. Myself and numerous other players have asked for it to stop being used, because to many it is hurtful. Despite this, the word continues to be used; it makes me really uncomfortable as someone with multiple mental disorders. I even know people without any neurological struggles that don't like hearing the r slur because of it's history. Honestly, I don't see the harm in banning the word; there are dozens of other less harmful, more creative insults to use as replacements that wouldn't be as hurtful to players.
     
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