Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
Adi
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by Adi »

JKhedrup wrote:...Hopefully people will want to step up and share those experiences, though if they choose not to there is also a lesson to be learned in that- the board is not a safe environment....
I think this is a lesson already known and now fairly well demonstrated in this thread. But to be fair, this is pretty much the case in any online forum where anyone can join. There will always be some showing up who don't get it or don't want to get it. Or for reasons inscrutable behave in unsociable ways.

For my part I'm not going to involve myself in such personal discussions because I don't feel comfortable around some of the people posting here. That's my issue, though, and it does help me train in impartiality. So I thank everyone for that and thank them very much.

I'll close with something HH Dalai Lama wrote that I hope all will remember:
All sentient beings are exactly the same in that every one desires happiness and seeks to avoid misery. We are not isolated entities disconnected from each other. The happiness and suffering of other beings affect us. This mutual relation is obvious. Sentient beings have been kind and have benefited us directly and indirectly throughout beginningless time. These beings are intrinsically the same as us in their pursuit of happiness and effort to avoid suffering. Thus, it is essentially logical for us to train in cultivating an impartial attitude wishing for the happiness of all beings.
Adi

Simon E.
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by Simon E. »

I think that 'not getting it ' is a two edged sword Adi.

And if you think that being preoccupied with the specifics of Dukkha in the case of a given individual equals not wishing someone's happiness... then it I would say that it is not I that doesn't get it.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Kaccāni
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by Kaccāni »

Love for all beings excludes non-love for people who are considered "different".
Swords are swung violently, especially when two bladed.

:anjali:
Last edited by Kaccāni on Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Shush! I'm doing nose-picking practice!

Adi
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by Adi »

I was replying directly to JKhedrup's second post in this thread, not you. But since you decided to jump in...
Simon E. wrote:I think that 'not getting it ' is a two edged sword Adi.

And if you think that being preoccupied with the specifics of Dukkha in the case of a given individual equals not wishing someone's happiness... then it I would say that it is not I that doesn't get it.
I've no idea what you get or don't get and according to you I should just tell you to get over it, whatever it is, because apparently you equate that with compassion.

So kindly be careful with those swords and good luck with those bright lights!

Adi, now going adios.

Simon E.
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by Simon E. »

Thats is EXACTLY what you should tell me to do in the unlikely event that I set up a thread to complain about life's vicissitudes..and like everyone else here I could...oh yes.

Telling me to get over myself would in the end be the really compassionate thing to do.

I have smiled..in a amused way a couple of times, visualising some of the posters on this and similar threads going to a couple of my teachers expecting reinforcement for their preoccupations..

Oh boy.

But , I feel like I am a cold shower at a picnic, so I will step aside and let the thread unfold unhindered.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Kaccāni
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by Kaccāni »

The wheel of the world turns on. No point in trying to stop it.
Shush! I'm doing nose-picking practice!

JKhedrup
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by JKhedrup »

Since I am finalky starting, after 10 years of living with Tibetans and five of speaking their language, to understand the culture a little, I agree Simon they would see this type of discussion as odd.

It might even be offensive to their cultural mores. But we are not Tibetans and so communicate differently , that is okay. Tibetans generally see Westerners as far too emotive.

If reading the stories has the end tesult of people being nicer and more patient with eachother, then it would be difficult to say this discussion is adharmic.

Still, the final result remains to be seen.

untxi
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by untxi »

This story seems appropriate as it is metaphoric of larger things while being immediately relevant.

Everything really comes down to experience and our ability to parse and contextualize our experience. That is a theme at the center of Buddhist psychology. Our world is made from our karmic formations. It's also true in the relative world of mundane things where we need to get things done. I'd argue it's more difficult and subtle there as we are compelled to be in the mix of things, and not withdraw. There's a whole discussion to be had about that-- I choose that it's part of my training to make justice part of my practice.

I've only been active on this board since 24 March-- about three weeks. Quite honestly, my experience has been hellish. This is the point where people start going through the threads thinking certainly nothing was that bad. This is the point where people get defensive or perhaps dismissive as their experience is quite different. This has all been very supportive for them, and as such they can connect and share. One person's experience doesn't negate those of others. My negative experience isn't an "anti-experience" that annihilates others' positive experiences. I think it's important to carry that into all of these discussions. Things can certainly be sent and received in that spirit.

A few days after posting in the other thread, I got some quirky comments on a blog that I participate in. They referenced DW and asked if "Untxi" was the one and the same as the author of those blog posts. I confirmed my identity. Ever since: a freaking nightmare. It should be assumed that my narrative below is strung together after the fact, as the experience itself has been very confusing.

At some point a few days into my participation on DW, I started getting GuerillaMail challenging me to many of the points brought up in the thread. Eventually these emails started being attributed to members of the forum, even Mods and Admins. Some of these purported that I was on notice or being sanctioned. In time they became outright abusive. Threats to "rape my faggot ass". And in response to the story about my friend who was shut in domestic violence homicide, a note about how nice it would be to copulate with the hole in her head.

So the effect of this is to really throw a lot of noise into the system. I started doubting and distrusting really everyone on the forum. The Mods and Admins included. I started questioning the hardware itself, wondering what information could be pulled from the DW interface: IP's, emails. I started doubting myself, and what I was saying on the threads. And in time, my struggle to get my mind around these harassing and critical emails started projecting into the thread, and the thread projecting into the stream of craziness and how I interpreted it. To maintain the integrity of DW the ToS puts up some useful walls between things, but those make it harder to flush out this type of nonsense. My first gut would have been to pull every post with Untxi on it, flush the UserName, and arise like a Phoenix. If not that, then share all of this nonsense publicly to show whoever it is that they're caught. There's some of that in what I'm sharing now.

For my own safety I've scuttled that email and pulled the blog posts associated with that blog, as they contained personal information that could be used to harm myself and others. *knock knock* to this day no proliferation. Now the door through which this nastiness arrives is shut. That's a huge drag, but it's worth it.

So I apologize for any grief I have caused one.

At the same time, this is very representative of how people who face issues of social justice, in particular gender violence, are forced to operate. Somebody posted about the Culture of Shut Up in a different sub. What I've experienced here is largely that. Somebody disagrees with some point I've made, or maybe just my haircut or the cut of my jib, and the response is to inject as much noise as possible to silence me. This happens to people of color, poor people, women and gender minorities all the time. I've felt myself shutting down periodically through my three weeks here, and I've felt myself constantly self-editing, only to push through and speak my mind and make myself vulnerable regardless. Not everyone does that. Many people just shut down, and many people make it part of their process to shut people's voices down in this way. For me it doesn't matter much. I'm a straight white guy. I ease back into my life if I want to. If I were a woman or a LBGTQIA person struggling with these issues in real life, especially on a forum in a thread about discussing and mitigating these issues-- it would probably be very damaging.

One of the problems with the injecting noise to intimidate or threaten people is that it injects noise into everyone else's experience in the vicinity. I'm responding not to those I'm chatting with, but through a cloud of disruptive nonsense. Divisive speech is divisive. It pulls people apart. It's a bell that is hard to un-ring, no matter how many times well intentioned people might try. This is largely the experience of people struggling with various forms of structural violence. In my own case, yes, it was a personal failure of character to cave into doubt and suspicion. It was also a personal failure to project the harassment into the threads and vice versa. At the same time, it is what my experience informs me about the reality of my situation. This is just what happens in public forums and blogs on sex/gender violence. Someone with a different experience would frame it differently. The tragedy of this Culture of Shut Up is that noise injected into the dialog, but also into the relationships between people. It is often the critique that people addressing race or gender issues are themselves racist and sexist-- and there is likely some truth to that. There is also truth for many that their experience of their peers has been poisoned by shenanigans aimed at being disruptive, silencing and divisive. In my own case, I don't trust anything about this place at this point. No foul on anyone. Just calling my experience.

I've worked in peace and nonviolence issues on and off since the 90's. Sometimes with a shovel in the dirt. Sometimes with words. Every time, even after all of these years, the torrent of noise is something I just don't know how to handle. After struggling to figure out who was flaming me and failing, and agitating and insulting people in the process, after trying to introspect as to what I've done to trigger all of this-- I just come back to giving up. I know this is a common experience with people who struggling with real oppression who are shut up with torrents of noise and abuse. You reach a point of simultaneously distrusting your own experience, as well as your enemies and allies, and the meaning and value of any dialog collapses. Though a categorically different experience for me, being a straight white guy, that is the effect of this nonsense. A big "WTF".

GuerillaMail through proxy servers. I guess Tor. Well played. Very sad though.

-U

JKhedrup
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by JKhedrup »

It is a really shitty experience you went through and I am sorry

All of us who open ourselves online are vulnerable to this kind of nonesense. I am reevaluating my openness about my identity in light of this. My opinions on several spiritual issues alone have resulted in online abuse via email.

But by now it probably doesn't make a difference as I am well known enough online that anyone who wants to find me can.

Still, all of us who post on contentious issues hete need to be aware of the risks. People at esangha were threatened with frivolous lawsuits for example.

People on the internet can be racist, homophobic, harassing and litigious. Online harassment is very nervewracking and I pray no one else is subjected to it.
Last edited by JKhedrup on Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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conebeckham
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by conebeckham »

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Just FYI due to the direction the conversation seems to be heading, the ToS states:
No Disclosure of Internal Private Messages/Off-Site Emails or Any Type of Private Correspondence Without Prior Consent from the Sender
Not that it's happened, just a rule to keep in mind.
On the other hand, if any member is getting threatening or offensive PM's, I believe it is that member's obligation to report such activity to the mods....and if the sorts of threats Unxti refers to have been made, any member making such threats should be banned. For Life.

EDIT: But those sorts of issues should be dealt with privately, via PM's with mods and admin.
As for the "off-list" activity, I feel strongly that if it can be determined that someone is verbally abusive on some other site, or via guerillamail or whatnot, and we know who they are here...I say Ban 'Em.
Last edited by conebeckham on Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
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དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

untxi
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by untxi »

It's all good Cone. It's explained in a later post.
-U
conebeckham wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:Just FYI due to the direction the conversation seems to be heading, the ToS states:
No Disclosure of Internal Private Messages/Off-Site Emails or Any Type of Private Correspondence Without Prior Consent from the Sender
Not that it's happened, just a rule to keep in mind.
On the other hand, if any member is getting threatening or offensive PM's, I believe it is that member's obligation to report such activity to the mods....and if the sorts of threats Unxti refers to have been made, any member making such threats should be banned. For Life.
Last edited by untxi on Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

untxi
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by untxi »

None of this makes any sense in a sangha.
JKhedrup wrote:It is a really shitty experience you went through and I am sorry

All of us who open ourselves online are vulnerable to this kind of nonesense. I am reevaluating my openness about my identity in light of this. My opinions on several spiritual issues alone have resulted in online abuse via email.

But by now it probably doesn't make a difference as I am well known enough online that anyone who wants to find me can.

Still, all of us who post on contentious issues hete need to be aware of the risks. People at esangha were threatened with frivolous lawsuits for example.

People on the internet can be racist, homophobic, harassing and litigious. Online harassment is very nervewracking and I pray no one else is subjected to it.

JKhedrup
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by JKhedrup »

The internet makes bullying and harassment easy. There are violent people out there. Being threatened is scary.
Fortunately Utxi maintained some anonymity which allowed him to take steps to prevent the harassment from continuing. I am almost at the point of recommending people maintain personal anonymity. I wish I had.

Simon E.
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by Simon E. »

conebeckham wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:Just FYI due to the direction the conversation seems to be heading, the ToS states:
No Disclosure of Internal Private Messages/Off-Site Emails or Any Type of Private Correspondence Without Prior Consent from the Sender
Not that it's happened, just a rule to keep in mind.
On the other hand, if any member is getting threatening or offensive PM's, I believe it is that member's obligation to report such activity to the mods....and if the sorts of threats Unxti refers to have been made, any member making such threats should be banned. For Life.

EDIT: But those sorts of issues should be dealt with privately, via PM's with mods and admin.
As for the "off-list" activity, I feel strongly that if it can be determined that someone is verbally abusive on some other site, or via guerillamail or whatnot, and we know who they are here...I say Ban 'Em.
Having said I have left the thread I wanted to come back in to reiterate Cone's view.
Such behaviour would be intolerable.
Having said that, having a particular sexual orientation or supporting those who have a particular orientation is not the only trigger for such behaviours. A member of my family suffered similar abuse on the old E Sangha which continued even after she left that forum..
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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reddust
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by reddust »

I've never had anyone discriminate against me in the Sanghas I attended because of my gender, I've always been treated with kindness and respect by my Buddhist teachers. But there is a lot of really subtle stuff that goes on as I reflect, stuff I have to let go of or I would be fighting and pissed off all the time.

I think that's just the way Samsara is and I am not a coward I will speak up when I think I see an injustice occurring. I did have an experience whilst I lived in Chicago. I was asked to lead a Medicine Buddha group, it's a super easy practice to do, very gentle and beautiful. But I had only been into Vajrayana a few years and oldtimers became very offended a newbie who is really in to Theravada vipassana meditation was asked to lead a group. I was looking to integrate my meditation experiences with my new Vajrayana practices and I met with a lot of blank looks and silence. This meditation group, just a tiny little job and really I don't see this as being a gender issue and all the crap that came up was just stupid. People really showed me their dirty laundry and I was shocked. People told me to my face I was not right for this because I didn't know what I was doing. There was all sorts of arguments regarding how the practice was to be run. If I had more experience I would of stopped that at the get-go. I've run other groups like kitchen's at retreats, but I really know how to cook you know, I had confidence.

I felt really bad, had a couple good cries and pouts, felt really sorry for myself but continued on with the year long group meditation for the prescribed amount of time. The whole thing got really weird partly because I was so confused in the beginning, I had no clue what was happening. Now I know better, I learned a lot for that experience and I am so thankful for going through it even though it was really silly and painful. People are people you know, they, including me, we fall into all sorts of old habits when our views are challenged. I look deeper into how people are treated, we discriminate against ourselves first and others secondly, all the time and I think most of us are unaware because of how our cultural habits of seeing the world are so deeply ingrained. I've run a couple other groups since then and this seems to be pretty common behavior. You need a strong leader that is confident to make sure people do their own laundry.

I've had real in your face discrimination in the business world, stuff said to me that you wouldn't believe, just jaw dropping, mind numbing, heart breaking stuff. My wanderings through the Dharma circles have never been that bad.

EDIT: Helping manage the meditation folder on e-sangha I got a really mean stalker, the fear for me still lingers regarding crazies online. But I try to be sensible about that. I don't own much and I work for myself, I hold no position of authority so no one can really harm me if they try and ruin my reputation because I don't have a reputation. But for those in leadership positions or sensitive jobs be careful!
Last edited by reddust on Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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JKhedrup
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by JKhedrup »

It doesn't make sense. But this is not a dharma centre where you can just boot someone out the door if they are abusive. People can pretend to be someone else, sign on with a different name from another computer. Mods have a tough job, no way they can catch every troublemaker.

It is a community of thousands of members, many anonymous. Moreover, threads can be read by anyone. So ill intentioned people with weird agendas could again cause problems.

In retrospect, this person's plan worked. Because of their horrible harassment, people will be scared to participate in discussions on these issues.

My advice to people: don't let whoever this bully is win. But maintain a private identity as a safety prevaution. Use a unique nickname ypu don't use elsewhere.
Last edited by JKhedrup on Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Simon E.
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by Simon E. »

Of course the mods can and should boot someone out of the door if this abuse is traced back to originating from a forum member J.Khedrup.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

untxi
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by untxi »

JKhedrup wrote:My advice to people: don't let whoever this bully is win. But maintain a private identity as a safety precaution. Use a unique nickname you don't use elsewhere.
What he said. My mistake.

Maybe gut the thread back to Jamyang Tashi's original theme, and start afresh.

JKhedrup
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by JKhedrup »

Sorry was unclear. Whst I meant is, it is not like a dharma centre where you can get rid of someone and be sure they don't come back. Also sonce most ppl are anonymous here, harder to identify perpetrators.

With the whole protector fiasco once I identified and blocked a harasding email or IP, another appeared to take its place.

JKhedrup
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Re: Personal Experiences of Discrimination

Post by JKhedrup »

Thank you Untxi.

We should continue, though I think your relating of the harassment should also stand.

We need to send a message to the prejudiced person who harassed you:

You failed. We will not be intimidated and will discuss this important issue. We will support and protect people here if they are menaced by cowardly anonymous threats
Last edited by JKhedrup on Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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