Thanks for getting back so fast.I assumed you were chief chuckwagon cook and bottle washer! Here's the problem, and I know I'm too long winded about it, but I want to emphasize the depth of feeling that can be involved in things like this.
I have been really bothered by something that has been going on in the group for some time now, and frankly I have grown to just dread reading the messages I have been getting as a cyberpal. I often think of posting my views about this obvious problem to the group, and then I chicken out, which just makes me feel like a victim, but perhaps it is best first to e-mail you to see what can be done.
think you know what the problem is; it's pretty hard to miss, and I believe that all of the other members can't help but be well aware of it and greet it with what I think might be the silence of an embarrassed group or even a group being bullied.
Just for starters, please reread the January 8th message entitled "Social Security"ow consider the following: Is this group just for hard-line republicans or can "lying thieving" democrats participate too? Are the waters being tested here to see if there is someone in the group who doesn't belong? It very often seems so. Why should any cyberpal have the people he or she admires or his or her most cherished ideals repeatedly and crassly savaged by another cyberpal?
his has been going on far too long. Should some of us leave? This kind of off-topic posting is clearly disrespectful to others. I am simply tired of receiving these inappropriate and disrespectful messages. They have no place in a group about a western band.Bobbie, putting this group together is truly a cool (even great) accomplishment. But these nasty postings spoil all of the fun. They are destructive and divisive and can ruin the group. They sure ruin it for me, and I feel that groups like this can self-destruct over less. Surely I cannot be the only one who finds this repellent.
ach time that we get one of these angry political postings, the author blindly and naively assumes we all agree with him and then blithely encourages us all to send the message on. This time he writes: "How many people can YOU send this to?"
Bobbie, do you believe it the business of the Cyberpals to help one member propagate a personal and angry political viewpoint by participating in a mail campaign of some sort? I thought the group was about music and a western band. One member, however, thinks it is his personal staging ground for attacking other Americans who have different viewpoints (fellow cyberpals included!) -- and if you haven't noticed -- he has a particularly fervent and xenophobic hatred of new American citizens. They are attacked in some of his e-mails. Indeed, they're the target of this most recent one (in addition to the "thieving lying" democrats, of course). thought we were here because we shared a common interest that brought us together. Isn't that why we are in the group? Or are we here to show disrespect to each other with our particular brand of mean politics? Again, I thought the group was about music and the western band we loved.obbie, when I was invited to join, I was cautioned that it was a family oriented group with children participating, but I have been disturbed by the vulgar, unwholesome, and hateful material I have been sent through this forum.
hat follows is just a small part of the e-mail "Don't like it? TOUGH!" which we all were sent on August 24, 2005. Did you appreciate receiving such material? I would think not. I didnít. I feel this should have been challenged immediately. Is this the Cowboy Way? Is this kind of posting appropriate for a group with children participating? The cyberpal writes in part:My father and grandfather didn't die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours. I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word "freeze" or "stop" in English, see the above lines." can send you the rest of this if you can stand to read any more of it. here's quite a lot, all of it highly political and highly inappropriate and way off topic.
I would think most family oriented groups would kick out any member who posted anything remotely similar to that.
Just because we wear cowboy hats doesn't mean we have to live up to everyone's bad expectations as intolerant, ignorant, violent rednecks. RITS have spent more than twenty years trying to put an honorable Roy Rogers face on the cowboy image.
donít want to receive any more xenophobic messages like this one, which winks and giggles at murdering new Americans if they don't understand English very well. (This kind of thing, of course, is only written by those who couldn't learn a second language if their life depended on it.)
Bobbie, this looks a lot like hate literature, and it is unfair for any of us to have to receive it. I have foreign-born family members, and I consider this member's postings a grave discourtesy to say no more.'m sure RITS would not appreciate some of the material that is being sent around in a group that bears their name. It is also inappropriate to post preposterous stories about how Senator John Glenn praised George W. Bush and compared murder rates in Detroit with deaths of our soldiers in Iraq, etc. (see the long, jingoistic, angry, democrat-bashing "Worth the time, PLEASE read" November 3, 2005) Anyone with any sense would know that Glenn never said a single word of that weird stuff; this crackpot material has been circulating on the Internet with Glenn's name pasted on it since 2004. Its source is unknown.or did the distinguished democratic senator utter a word of the unfortunate, Janet Reno, Hillary and Clinton bashing that we were told he did -- the standard all-too-familiar litany of anger and hate that everyone in the group had to receive in their e-mail. Was anyone but one member naive enough to think that he had?e can all find crackpot literature on the web supporting any numbskulled notion, but that doesn't make it good manners to mail it to anyone.
here are many more e-mails that are similar to the ones I've mentioned.
I'm truly confused by this cyberpal. I find it incredible that he has so little empathy for others that he cannot put himself in their shoes and imagine how he himself might feel if the people he admired and his ideals and beliefs were being so cavalierly attacked.
I'm stuck, Bobbie. I want to be prudent. Thatís why Iím e-mailing you and not the group. I donít want to shame this cyberpal. I don't want to give it back to him and start World War Six in the ListServ, but I don't want to be his silent victim anymore either. So Iím asking you to please help out the group on this and help put this member on a better path and help him to learn not to stray from the trail in this way. The group doesn't need anyone starting a range war.
Although the lack of empathy for others concerns me, I'm willing to have faith that deep down this cyberpal has a good heart. I believe that it is only a lack of experience with different kinds of people and their cultures and provincialism that makes him behave so inappropriately. We all need to blow off steam (look at me now!), but we need to be prudent in where we choose to do so. I don't pretend to be perfect myself.
Somehow I know for sure in my heart that he is a good person in every other way. My hope is that he simply may not know any better than to act this way Ė but that doesnít mean that anyone should be a victim. He needs to be helped out so he has better judgment and can be a better cyberpal. He needs to know that we do not all have the same opinions about politics (or about religion either-- another concern I haven't even touched on).
have an idea for a painless way to address this, and I realize I'm being bold to think I know how to do your job, but I think that if the following (or something like it) were sent to this member or even the whole group, it would be extremely helpful. Good ideas and good communication are the best things in the world:
ďDear Cyberpal(s), just a reminder...
This is a family-oriented group about a wonderful western band. We come from all walks of life. Our group has no political or religious affiliation, and we have no desire to engage in any controversy or to further any causes other than the Cowboy Way.Ē
I hope that you agree that these words are true of us. I think those words ought to be on the web page as a part of a mission statement. Just my opinion.
I would send that message to the whole group myself, but it wouldn't be my place to do so unless I just presented it as my opinion rather than the judgment of the group's moderator.
Well, Iíve said far too much, but itís because I feel strongly about this. I feel this is really important. It is really disheartening for me to read the stuff Iíve been sent because they hurt the group and lessen us all.
hanks for reading this, Bobbie and I hope you donít think too badly of me for going on and on and being kind of angry myself.
Please tell me what you think. Tom