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Read This Before Posting; Skip Reading at Your own Peril

Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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Welcome to the POC board!

POC stands for People Of Color, the plural form of Person of Color. This is the definition we will be using in this room.

The American Heritage Dictionary said:
n. pl. people of color also persons of color
A person who has a racial identity other than white.

Usage Note: Dissatisfaction with nonwhite as a comprehensive racial label has likely contributed to the recent popularity of terms formed with the phrase of color, as in person of color, woman of color, or students of color. By substituting a positive formulation for a negative one, these terms recast the notion of not being white as an affirmation of common identity or shared experience among people of widely varying ethnicities. It is interesting that the almost exclusive association in American English of colored with black does not carry over to terms formed with "of color," which are used inclusively of all groups other than those of European origin. See Usage Notes at colored, nonwhite.

1. Everyone is welcome, provided you post with respect and understanding. Assume good will, if you possibly can. If you can't let me handle it; use the
button or PM me.

2.This is a room to discuss writing characters of color, the issues POC writers have to confront within the publishing industry and a place to have intelligent discussions.

3. Don’t be afraid to discuss controversial subjects and issues provided that you remember that RYFW (Respect Your Fellow Writer) is the #1 rule here.

In other words:

On Respecting Your Fellow Writer

We’ve always, first and foremost, used "respect your fellow writer" as our guiding principle. It's a really good one, in general. I absolutely believe in it. And we're not going to be making a bunch of rules and regulations to quote, because that's a whole can of worms with its own set of special problems. (Edit and Admin wars on Wikipedia are a perfect example of how quickly and horribly that goes awry.)

It's really not complicated. Seriously. It means don't act like a jerk. You don't name-call, or bait, or sneer, or taunt, or generally be unpleasant to the people around you; at least, not if you want to stay here very long.

On Respecting Your Fellow WriterYou might find a joke gets deleted, or a thread gets locked, that seems perfectly innocent, to you. Usually, if that happens, it's because there were people who were much less comfortable with it. The complexity and diversity in our backgrounds can be much more difficult to face and deal with, honestly, when things are couched in terms of “gosh, it was all just in good fun” because of the built-in refusal to examine underlying attitudes of exclusion, or "I'm normal and you're not" -- which by extension implies that anyone who insists on examining exactly that is humorless and "PC."

Which reminds me -- accusing each other of "being PC" when you disagree really isn't cool. And what it usually boils down to is that someone is being a jerk or a bigot -- maybe inadvertently, maybe not -- and gets called on it which makes that person defensive.

You’ll notice, please, I'm also not demanding that anyone agree with my worldview. You don't have to. And you can absolutely debate and discuss and tell me you think I'm wrong, and why you think so — PMs are usually more appropriate for that, but if it's a discussion that you honestly believe would benefit the community, I'm willing to have that discussion on the boards in public, too.

What members (and all of us are members, mods too) don't get to do is marginalize other members. And we have Muslims and Catholics and Moral-Majority conservative Pentecostals. Republicans and Libertarians and Anarchists. We have brown people, pink people, pot-smokers, hippies, suburban moms, ex-cons, ex-cops, and Homeland Security specialists. We have married folks, and polyamorous folks, and singles and swingers and queers.

You get the drift, I'm sure.

I'm not inclined to try and prevent people from thinking and believing whatever they're inclined to think and believe -- whether they're fanatic adherents to the use of the serial comma, or won't use any capital letters or commas at all. It would be a fool's errand, for one thing, and this would be a rather stagnant and boring community, for another.

I’m also not inclined to let people behave like bullies about their beliefs.

My concern about this stuff is largely in terms of building and maintaining a mostly-egalitarian community, at least as much as humanly possible. Because what happens when you get a preponderance of members who tend to agree and share a cultural background, and they take for granted or actively put forth -- even it it's never said in so many words — that their world view is the only "normal" or "right" world view, is that people who see things differently finally just quietly go away.

Since I'm one of those people who would be quietly going away, if I kept my mouth shut about the stuff that really bothers me, or seems exclusive rather than inclusive, I have a vested interest in not letting that happen, here.

That's what “respect your fellow writer” means to me.

4. Please don't enter and poo-poo the issues that POC writers face, say there is no such thing, ask why do “they” need a room, “they” are getting special treatment, etc. You will be blocked from the POC room. You won’t receive any other warning than this one.

5. Saying “we all have color” or using the color blind analogy is not OK, for several reasons. It won't be tolerated. Read Colorblind Ideology Is a Form of Racism. While it is probably well-intentioned, the use of color blind in this way is deeply problematic.

6. NO derogatory stereotypes, slurs and the like are allowed. We can discuss them at length, but actually using them towards others and introducing research, quotes,etc to justify them isn't allowed. Stereotypes aren't TRUTH.

7. To quote Kitty27, the POC mod currently on sabbatical:

kitty27 said:
There will be no bashing of our peeps of the porcelain persuasion,either. The entire industry is not chock full of racists or DA MAN trying to keep us down. Our fellow writers don't rock freshly pressed white sheets in their spare time. Vent,express your frustrations, talk about your experiences but do NOT use racist language or terms. Racism is not acceptable towards anyone. Again,you will be sent packing.

If you have questions about a character of color, please don't be afraid to ask.

That said, please read the rules and follow them.

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