setting the tone



Delina 0:02
Hi, everybody, this is Delina, Woke Homeschooling, and I’m here with Summer, who is our moderator for the Facebook group that has more than 13,000 members.. I don’t know, Facebook fudges, the numbers, but we’re just gonna go with that.

She, so graciously moderates the group. And let me tell y’all this: Summer, I asked Summer if she would help me to over a year ago to moderate the group because I saw the way that she interacted with people. And I’m like this type person I need. And she has been so amazing. A couple of weeks ago, she came to me and said, Hey, I’m really concerned with the way some things are going down in the group, and I want to talk to you about it. I don’t know if we should do a post, or should we do and last week, we talked about it, we were on video. And I was like, let’s just talk about it. So this is why we’re here to talk about it. Summer has some great insight. Because she reads every post, she she reads every comment. And so she sees things that I can’t see that I don’t see. And that most people that Facebook is, is not showing our stuff to, we’ll just see occasional glimpses of, but we just want to talk about that. So Summer. Yes, tell me what’s going on in the


Summer McDonald 1:35
Well, first of all, it is my pleasure to moderate. I’ve learned so much and I really truly enjoy the people in the group. So it is my pleasure to be a part of this is a benefit to me as well. And I’m glad that it is a benefit to the group.

And there were a few posts in the past month or so that have highlighted.

If I were to put a theme on it, it would be the need to listen to certain voices, the need to listen to certain members. Let’s slow down and be clear. The need for who to listen to who? I guess I’ll say some specific posts that came up.

Starting with the most recent there were two posts in the same week, one that was talking about the book, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, in an article about how there was a sequel coming out, and how problematic that particular resource is because it is not from the perspective of someone who has gone through the Holocaust. But from the German perspective. The same week, there was a post asking whether it would be appropriate or good to go to a plantation or a settler colonizer museum

And then and everyone was in the comments, were very willing to accept that this was a negative resource, this was not a good resource to use. However, in the post about the visiting a plantation, the majority of the comments, were rationalizing why that would be okay and how to make it okay for your children. The majority of people commenting were white children, or white families to go to this plantation and critically think the situation. However, there were a few Black members that spoke out saying this is traumatizing to us and to our families and our community and our ancestors. This is not a place to go. This is not how you want to teach your children about what happened here in the United States. And those members were not listened to the same way that the perspective of the Jewish people in with the boy in Striped Pajamas. So I was very taken aback by the difference in response the difference in listening the black members were not listened to the however the the members speaking out against you know the own voices are speaking for the Own Voices books for the Holocaust were listened to. And so I noticed a very striking contrast there between those two posts and the interaction in the comments.


There have been other other posts, 

Summer: I’ve seen many others where there’s a similar situation where

Indigenous voices are speaking out about there was a post that sadly was deleted regarding Pocahontas. And whether or not she should be taught, and how, and the Indigenous people and thankfully, you know, for we have a lot of very knowledgeable people in our group. We’re saying don’t, you can’t, it’s not, not for that. And sadly, it was deleted.

But there was there was the vibe that the people who are affected the people were negatively affected by teaching these histories, especially teaching them in a way that is comfortable. have to fight for their voice to be heard they have to get into an argument in the comments. Or they have to shout, it feels like you know, they’re not shouting, literally, but they have to they have to speak up and I even wonder like you have to spend a lot of time invest a lot of time in, in educating and just labor emotional labor.

Unknown Speaker 6:30
That’s it actual labor. Yeah. Time like,

Summer: Yeah, time education,

time, education and energy that, you know, I can’t imagine the amount of emotional stress and strain that would have to that, that it would take to say, Gosh, can you listen do have you not heard yet how hard this is for our people, for us for our history. And I feel like in this group, there’s enough resources, enough past posts enough interaction going on that? They shouldn’t always have to do that.


Right. And, you know, while you were talking, I was thinking about when when you first agreed to moderate, you said, What do you want this group to be? Like, what? Like, what am I looking for? And one of the things that I mentioned was that I want bi POC voices, especially the B and the I in BOC to be heard and to be to, to not to have it be a place of education, but not a place where we have to defend in a way


yes. And I have to take on that role sometimes to defend that so that people who have you know, the be in the I don’t always have to. However, I also am not. It’s not my voice. It’s not my experience. So I do try to make sure that I am not talking for these people. But I don’t think that at the same time, I don’t think they should always have to speak up. But there should be enough other people saying, Hey, that’s not a good resource. That’s not a good idea. Try this and just other people saying, “could you just take a pause and listen, instead of just being quick to respond?” 

Delina: Because there are so many places on Facebook to argue. Summer I’m in this group, this koi pond group. You would think it would be just simple. We are talking about racial history, we’re talking about education, we’re talking about children. There are a lot of things that could be contentious, but we want to just we want to just there’s been a lot of people since we’ve, you know, reset the tone of the group. And so we just thought it was important to do that. So do you have any tips for people, when maybe they see something that Oh, goes against what I’ve always thought or?


So first, let me just say I want this to be as the moderator and I feel that you want this to to be a safe place for everyone who’s here, to be able to read articles, read resources, hear about opportunities, comments, ask questions, it needs to be safe. So I feel like I am a broken record. Sometimes on the page. It’s just saying, can we speak with respect? Can we speak with kindness because it’s okay to disagree. It’s okay to have a question. It’s okay not to understand, of course, but it takes a posture thing I’m sorry, wait. It’s a posture thing? Yes. It can take a turn real fast into diminishing speaking overtop of someone not pausing to listen to hear the perspective before replying.

And a person, for example, if it’s if we’re talking about the Civil War, if we’re talking about the Holocaust, or if we’re talking about the Trail of Tears, you know, listen to the people who have been affected by that first, before commenting, or before continuing to comment. If someone from that group of people starts speaking, paused, take a minute, take an hour, take a day, and think about it, you can always come back the post will still be there, hopefully, that I’ll get to that in a minute.

Be willing to ask questions and have people say hard things to you where you might have to really take some time to ponder your perspective. 


Delina: Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes I think it’s important to pause and think of Why is this hard for me to accept? Or, like, why is this perspective a no go? Yeah. So what are some of the things you have some of the things? 

Summer: Well, the thing was, I was when I was gonna get to it, don’t dirty, delete your posts, please. If you submit a post, that’s for everybody on the page. And it’s for like, for example, somebody could have gone back after hearing this video to look at the Pocahontas post, and read and learn from it

And there was a lot of like we said earlier, emotional labor that went into the comments there from Indigenous voices, and other voices, saying very helpful things, very good things that we can learn from. So if you submit a post, and it’s approved, that’s out there. Please don’t delete it.


If you don’t want to continue getting notifications about the posts that you like, we can always close comments. 


Summer: Yep, you can contact me. 


Delina: Sometimes comments go on, and on and on. And everybody’s saying the same thing. And sometimes we closed them just for that reason. Yeah. Like everything’s been said, The only thing that’s gonna happen next is there’s gonna be a fight. Yes. In the middle of the night.


Yep. Yeah, when I wake up, so we go, no. But yeah, and I’m happy to receive messages. And I do get if it’s, if you’re in my others folder, I get a message still. So I have those notifications, that will tell me that someone is trying to contact me, I am happy to have you write me with a concern, or asking that comments be closed, rather than having to delete either certain comment threads or the whole post itself.


Great. I appreciate everybody who is here. You know, we’re here to grow. We’re here to learn. We’re we’re here to not just think, well, we’ve always thought, right, right. And I love the space that we get to be in a diverse group, like a truly diverse group. But for that, to continue to be healthy. We have to keep working on it. We have to keep tweaking things, and we have to keep our minds open our mouths not open sometimes. You just need to be able to hear each other. And just just take a pause. There are other places on Facebook to be rude. Yep, this one ain’t it. 


Summer: Yeah, please be rude somewhere else. Absolutely.


All right. Thanks, Summer. Thank you.


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