Thursday, April 11, 2013

BGA should create and enforce a no hate speech policy for its Facebook page

On its Facebook page, the Better Government Association asked me to file a complaint by email about a post on the BGA page that crossed the line to hate speech. BGA's initial reaction was to say that because Daniel Cannucci's statement that Michelle Obama should go back to Kenya wasn't "profane", it didn't violate BGA's standards.

My critique of BGA has two major points.

1. BGA should have a zero-tolerance approach to racism and hate speech. People who engage in racism and hate speech may be part of the "Conservative" political coalition, but they are not part of the good government movement.

2. BGA increasingly seems to be a home for people who hate government. Hating government is not the same as making government less corrupt or more efficient.

Below the fold for more details.

On April 10, 2013 the BGA posted a picture of Michelle Obama with the following text:
Today Mrs. Obama will help Rahm raise money from the biz community for anti-violence programs. It's an increasingly common tactic the mayor's used for the cash-strapped city government. This and more in Morning Watch.
 At 11:53 AM Cannucci posted:
YAY spending more of our money on crap. can we just send her and her husband back to kenya?
Cannucci's comment was the fifth of eight in the discussion, so it wasn't buried in a long thread.

Today I posted on the BGA's Facebook page:
I gotta say, the BGA sure seems like it's become a favorite hang-out of the Right Wing lunatic fringe. Here's a quote from Daniel Cannucci about Michelle Obama, "can we just send her and her husband back to kenya?"
And added the following comments:
Under Andy Shaw's leadership, the BGA has become much better at raising money. It's also more and more aligned itself with Right Wing politics on issues that don't directly pertain to "good government".
 BGA needs to tell the racists and whackjobs who don't care about public policy to take a hike.
To which the BGA responded:
Unless someone is being profane or is spamming our page, we try to keep all views represented.
The BGA's position is that people can be racist assholes on the BGA page as long as they don't use the seven words banned from television.

I disagree. BGA should boot people using hate speech. Michelle Obama is from Chicago. There's not even a paranoid conspiracy that she's from somewhere else. Saying Michelle Obama should go back to Africa is not legitimate political dialog. It's racist garbage.

And if the price of banning the bigots from BGA is that Right Wing donors don't open their wallets so much, BGA should be willing to pay that price.

BGA should create and enforce a policy that does not allow racism or hate speech on its Facebook page. People who violate the policy should be banned.

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