crisis management

What to Do When a Huge Group of People Call Your Argument Racist (Or Queerphobic)

This is an excellent primer on how white writer should tread when writing about race, particularly about races that are not their own. Spawned by a since-deleted Huffington Post piece, filmmaker Mike Barber has a few tips for reporters that might find themselves on the receiving end of criticism. And it could be well applied to reporters (bloggers?) writing about the homosexuals!

“If you write an article that results in a mass of people denouncing your article and possibly yourself as racist, it’s not going to be for some arbitrary reason,” opines Barber. “Though it won’t be comfortable, you need to accept the idea that you may have done what it is you are being accused. Calling the large group of people whom you offended irrational is not going to help. They’re angry for a reason, you have to acknowledge that.”

So true! Like when the Washington Post opens up the welcome mat to bigots, or the Bilerico Project (a site by for and LGBTs) publishes one of the most transphobic pieces we’ve seen come out of the non-lunatic segments of the interwebs.

And if you do get called out on saying offensive, inaccurate, and altogether hateful things about a certain class of people? Don’t pull a Sarah Palin. “
If you find yourself in this kind of situation and decide to respond, a piece of advice: don’t ever try to back up what you said by citing the number of people of colour [or gays] that are your friends/colleagues/acquaintances.”