Polyamory and Ethnicity

Part 1 of 2

You know LovingRadiance, something in your post stuck in my mind and (fortuitously) drew it back into the official thread topic:

"We often think that we know this that or the other thing; but if we haven't actually lived through it, we can't know it. We can know *about* it. But we can't *know* it.
That is a strong argument made in many arguments about racial discrimination.
But it's also true of other things. Like struggling with depression or other mental health issues. Struggling with physical health issues. Struggling through the loss of a child or a spouse/partner. Even having a partner versus having multiple partners."

I know that no one besides me can ever know what it's really like to live inside my skin and brain. Things that are easy for other people aren't easy at all for me. So while someone may glance at me and say, "He looks perfectly able-bodied to me," that someone doesn't realize how many demons I have to fight off every day just to get out of bed.

In that way, I think it's virtually impossible for me to truly know what kinds of challenges many black people must face. Oh I can imagine and try to tap into my empathy abilities, thus gaining something of an appreciation for what they struggle through. But I'd have to *be* them in order to really get it, and no one can really *be* anyone except themselves.

So while I still think imagining and empathizing is good and necessary up to a point, there also needs to be a point when we admit to each other, "I can't really know what it's like to have to face the kinds of hardships you have to face. I can only use my imagination and get a blurry picture of the tip of the iceberg. But if you'll forgive that shortcoming in me, then maybe you'll still be willing to help me better understand how I can help you."

People with mental/emotional disorders get discriminated against for things that other people *can't* see. People with a "minority skin color" get discriminated against for things that other people *can* see.

Which may be one reason why it was so easy for me to reach out to those blacks who were around me and want to mingle my company with theirs. Because, I don't know what it's like to be black, but I do know what it's like to be a misunderstood outcast. Put it this way: There's a good reason why I soon tired of being back in Utah after my stay in Detroit. When marital engagement offered me the chance to run back from Utah to Michigan, I seized it.

And by the by: on further reflection, I remembered the clutch of black neighborhoods in Mt. Clemens which is a small city north of Detroit. I was a piano teacher in Mt. Clemens, and thus had opportunity to engage each week with a good handful of black students at least. So, there again, I learned a little more about "the black culture in that area."

Which, wouldn't ya know it, proved to differ from one individual to the next. Once again, breaking a race down into separate cultures doesn't tell you the whole story. You still have to break separate cultures down into single individual people because no two people are *really* the same, no matter what.

Sad to say, one black girl was my student and I struggled with her. I never disliked her per se, but her "ribbing sense of humor" was worse than mine, and her weekly goal seemed to be to find some new way of getting under my skin. (Pardon the "skin" expression.)

Usually lessons with her were just 30 minutes of minor annoyance, and sometimes even playfulness with her facetiousness. She didn't at all practice like she should have, but by then I'd learned to tolerate that in a student as long as said student was still reasonably respectful towards me as a teacher and as a fellow human being of theirs.

But man, I'll never forget the one piano lesson where that student really did get under my skin. I was passing from youth into my middle-ages, and as a result, she saw opportunity to point out that my fingernails were getting ridges on them, and she thought that was gross.

Hell, I think she meant that as a joke/jibe/poke in the ribs. But God did that hurt, and I didn't even know why. I wasn't even mad. I was just ashamed. I started trying to hide my fingernails, the owie was that bad. [shaking head]

I had another young black lady as a student and, bad as I am at names I still remember her name: LaRenna. I neither confessed nor acted on the thought in any way, but, in addition to having much personality charisma, she was also physically gorgeous and I secretly crushed on her a bit. Her sense of humor was also unflagging and she and I always had a ball poking each other in the ribs, but she also failed to practice much at all, and I was too new of a teacher back then to realize that not practicing doesn't necessarily a bad student (let alone person) make. I eventually "dismissed" her from my tutelage because she wasn't a productive student. God did I grow to regret that decision. My loss.

For awhile, a black man was a student of mine. He had a few Stevie Wonder songs he wanted to learn, which actually helped me to "discover" Stevie Wonder's music and fall in love with it. I didn't get to know the student in question all that well, but I got to know him well enough to learn that he had personal (often relationship-related) heartaches in his life, as, well, frankly, we all do. And no matter what, he was always as gracious and courteous toward me as if I was a king and he was a prince, or the other way around, who could tell. He had to cease taking lessons all too soon. I'd have liked to spend more time with him and get to know him better.

My longest student-teacher interracial relationship was with two young boys who were being raised by their grandmother. I don't think piano was really their thing. After I moved to New Mexico, they started getting into sports and stuff. So they were, well, deplorable in the practicing area. And they were trying at times! another "Odd Couple" type of relationship between me and them. They must have had ADD or something, I couldn't get them to concentrate on the task at hand for more than a few minutes. But their sense of humor was so infectious that I couldn't help but like them. I'll never forget the time when the younger brother grabbed the older brother from behind, and the older brother looked at me and cried, "Mr. Kitchen!" [yes "Kitchen," I eventually had my entire name legally changed] "Help me! He's hate-raping me!" At which point I collapsed into my chair, laughing against all my better judgment. Those two brothers were nuts!

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Part 2 of 2

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Their grandmother (also coincidentally black) was totally supportive towards me as a teacher and person at all times. Never questioned my methods or approach (though many white parents and students did). She just tried her best to get those two wiggly boys to do *some* practicing and do *some* of what I asked of them. She was always respectful and deferential to me in a way that made me feel like I had raised her to be an equal without even trying to.

So when I add up all the experiences I've had in my all-too-short (and our lives are all all-too-short) life, I overall have to say that I've learned to not only love black people but respect and want to honor them as well. For they honored me. Except that one darn student with that remark about my fingernails. That stings, even today. I always look at my nails and think, "Oh crap, they're ridgier than ever today." But in my heart, I now realize that she never meant to hurt me. She just loved joking around (including practical jokes) too much to give it a rest. Not the world's most obedient student, let's put it that way! :p I could scarcely talk her into sitting on the piano bench, let alone actually trying to play a song. 50-75% of her 30 minutes' lesson time was spent on her rifling through all my papers and files, looking for stuff to make fun of. [shaking head] Talk about incorrigible ...

So you'd think I'd have soon learned to take all her rib jabbing into stride. But I never quite did. That fingernail remark really hurt my feelings, and that can only mean that her opinion mattered a great deal to me.

So the times I've spent with black people have taught me a thing or two about their culture and personalities, but even more than that, I think those times taught me a thing or two about myself. They forced me to see my own weaknesses. They coaxed me into embracing just a little bit of my own humanness. They helped me see that it's okay for me to be imperfect. I don't need to be a perfect teacher. I just need to be a faithful friend.

Oh, but there was one sad time. A black lady was taking lessons from me -- and she was diligent at practicing. But alas, one day we were chatting and the subject of holidays came up. Upon which, I confessed to her that Halloween, rather than Christmas, was my favorite holiday. I even carried on a bit about how/why I loved that holiday, how it's like a celebration of the imagination in my eyes, etc.

Oh dear. Well this was a very Christian black lady with some very hard-core "Christian" views, and her pastor had definitely let her know that Halloween was no less than Satan's personal brainchild. This lady castigated me for the rest of her lesson time, warning me that I'd best learn the value of Christmas and cut it out with this Halloween crap. And then her lesson ended, she left, and I never saw her again.

God dammit. :(

I did apologize before she left, but the damage had already been done. Sigh. Well that wasn't a race problem, that was definitely a culture problem. Or should I say a church problem. Well whatever.

The point I get from all this is that breaking a race down into cultures isn't good enough. You have to break the cultures down into individual people before you can really understand them, no matter what the color of their skin.

Even from that last sad story, though, I did learn (just a little more) that I have a poor sense of what is and isn't safe to share in a social or public setting. Some sentiments are best kept private within one's own mind, or at least only shared with great caution and care (not wild, carefree enthusiasm). Sad lesson to have to learn.

And there was the young black lady who was Mormon, chose to serve a mission, and was in my ward (read: congregation in typical Christian jargon) when I was ward mission leader. She was a quiet, sad, angry person. I never knew quite how or why, but I supposed that white folks must have somehow wounded her deeply. She never trusted me. She never trusted my motives. I wonder if she was pushed into serving a mission against her will. I'll never know.

In science, it often seems that for each question we answer, ten new questions spring up in its place. That's how the problems of racial/cultural divides seem to be. Whenever I think I've got the answer to one question, I suddenly realize I have ten new indispensable questions on my hands.

Well what the heck, let's complicate the issue by mixing polyamory into the batter. Now I find myself flooded in a sea of questions. By now I almost want to skip the polyamory part and just figure out an answer to the one question: How have black people affected me, and what does that say about me? Am I just naive? Do I just want to believe that I care about black people because I'm ashamed of the church and heritage looming over my own white-centric childhood and background? Do I feel guilty for being white? for being a product of a race that once chained black people against their will, tore black families apart, and made them work harder than the livestock were forced to work?

Sometimes I'm sad that a chasm seems to exist between many black and white people. Sometimes I'm sad (and ashamed) to be white. But then I remember I'm also a hopelessly selfish person, and I feel fortunate to not have to go through the crap that so many black people have to go through.

Do I want them to "come to my poly potlucks" just so I can "apologize" to them in some indirect way? "Sorry about what my people did to your people." Would such an apology even matter after some 150 years after Lincoln was slain?

Some black folks have hurt my feelings. Most of them have helped heal the sickness in my heart (the genetic sickness, and the socially-programmed sickness). But all of them have left an impression in my soul that is eternal.

I'm just humbled and honored to be able to have the kind of opportunity that this thread represents. And when I move (less than a week away now) to Seattle, I hope I'll treat any minority folks I meet there in a way that honors them and doesn't wound them any further. Alas, I'll probably have to learn that skill by trial and error.
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.....So what I'm saying is that whilst it is clear that kdt hasn't had much experience with people from other cultures, races, planets, etc, he hasn't been offensive at all. The few times he has walked the line with his comments were because he was led to do so by other major contributors to the thread who aren't as PC as they think they are. He was responding defensively to their imagined slights against him and in teying to fit their warped version of "This is how you don't be racist", he actually started to say things that could be construed as racist. (But don't worry, kdt, it wasn't your bad)

I'll go back to when I said that us ethnics get pissed off by (often unintentionally racist) white people who want to be the judges of what is and isn't racist.

When a person constantly and intentionally makes it a point to spend a lot of time right next to that line, I don't care if the one step over was an accident, so naturally, it's hard to accept apologies when they obviously did not care -- all the while claiming the opposite -- then goes from difficult to not being able to accept apologies because sorry implies a willingness to change the behavior.

But I almost feel I was being unfair in not mentioning specifics in order to not embarrass kdtrenumberated. I am very proactive when it comes to exercising freedoms, *almost*[/quote] as much as I am as to each freedom's responsibility that must be lived up to as I do not believe there is a worse debt one can fall into.

Honesty plays a large role in the previously mentioned responsibility. Many things that are right -- or at least not wrong -- become wrongs committed, for only the fact that lies are involved, and in the event you don't feel you can be honest, it is perfectly fine to state whatever info you wish to lie about will not be divulged because every person is certainly entitled to privacy. Whether that be in their own home or dwelling -- even if that dwelling is their physical body or car -- -- even if it is just a hard drive with their journalings which they did not publish -- -- or whether it is what they did with whomever last week, it is certainly OK not to share such private information with or without whomever a person likes. If you have some sort of power exchange relationships with slaves whom willfully submit, more power to you buddy ol pal, but you have no power over me, and anytime you feel you do it is a violation, because I do not submit to blackmail, threats of violence or any kind threat really except to make sure that those who threaten me follow through with their word.

I takes away their power to terrorism and intimidate

Honesty is a big deal to me, and I believe it is THE ONLY way to successfully gain rights or even just to shed the social stigma, so I don't appreciate stories which are made up, falsified , even when they are seemingly justified in order to gain ground in the poly world, so to speak. I know that everyone fibs here and there, so plucking little heart strings here and there to sell book, that's one thing, and not wrong per se however I do believe you should think about changing direction as to the whole monogamy is bad and unenlightened while pologamy is good, evolved [sic] and highly enlightened.

Sex and spirituality or religion are the most sacred aspects of my life, I was raised Mormon, but I am not an active member of the church, but just because I am not I would never attack any religion just for the hell of it, when I do, it is answering or addressing their position or civil rights, I don't believe you were ever as active as you claim and I sure as hell do not believe you went on a mission, so while my religious beliefs do not align with Mormons I certainly do not appreciate hearing derogatory words about them as a culture, especially from such a passive aggressive person such as you. But maybe it is just me, as I feel the same way in regards to several members here, you, helo, marcus, monkeystyle, and occasionally numerous others when they appear willing to pass out or go along with your deceptive style of made-up first hand experiences of people you know nothing about.

You are right, I don't a rats ass if you or anybody doesn't respond to me, but when it feel it pertains to me, or is unacceptable behavior towards anybody else that I am witness to, I will answer and I will speak up.

It's not that I thing you are wrong for not answering or acknowledging my words, and not that I am right, I do however feel it is mighty cowardly to post from more than one profile for whatever reason -- so -- so long as you don't do that I don't care what you do, or if you feel you must that you don't use other profiles to push disengenous experiences as I do not believe such stories actually help people but it's likely to detract from this site being able to help.

But of course I am more paranoid than anything so if none of it's true feel free to assume it's all in my head, that is certainly your right to believe in your position and hold your beliefs as truth in reality. I realize not all members here are from United States, but I for one thank God everyday that my beliefs do not align with certain people, and it sounds like both of us are happy for such freedom

sounds like we have come to a thoroughly guten understanding
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So while I still think imagining and empathizing is good and necessary up to a point, there also needs to be a point when we admit to each other, "I can't really know what it's like to have to face the kinds of hardships you have to face. I can only use my imagination and get a blurry picture of the tip of the iceberg. But if you'll forgive that shortcoming in me, then maybe you'll still be willing to help me better understand how I can help you."

People with mental/emotional disorders get discriminated against for things that other people *can't* see. People with a "minority skin color" get discriminated against for things that other people *can* see.
YES! I Agree.
One more thing I think it helpful in crossing over these sometimes invisible and sometimes visible distinctions we make;
Is to accept that while someone may not know EXACTLY the struggle we face; they know what it is like TO STRUGGLE. :)
Which is a common ground.

Like you, I suffer from mental health issues (and some physical health issues) that limit my abilities in a way others can't readily see. To look at me, one would easily assume I am "able-bodied". But in fact, I'm not.

But-when someone says "I understand", I assume that they mean they understand what it is like to struggle. I don't assume that they are trying to say they know EXACTLY WHAT MY STRUGGLE is like.

The difference sometimes seems like it shouldn't matter. But it can be the difference between defensively angry or graciously appreciative. ;)
Part 1 of 4

@ LovingRadiance ... love your post. :) Thanks for sharing a little common ground with me, and I do think it means a lot when someone can relate to pain and struggle, even if it's not your specific pain and struggle. And it's surely got something to do with getting diverse cultures (poly or otherwise) to come together.

Ahem; so much for the easy job. Now I'll make an attempt to make some kind of peace with Dirtclustit. God help me. Sez I the atheist. Perhaps I should say, Science help me? Okay, no more joking around for the next few posts, I promise. Okay, I'll *try* not to joke so very much. [sigh]


"When a person constantly and intentionally makes it a point to spend a lot of time right next to that line, I don't care if the one step over was an accident, so naturally, it's hard to accept apologies when they obviously did not care -- all the while claiming the opposite -- then goes from difficult to not being able to accept apologies because sorry implies a willingness to change the behavior."

As I contemplate this (typically mysterious) paragraph, and ask, "Is it I, Lord?" I gradually come to suspect that maybe my sin was that I didn't spend a lot more of my years learning and studying about cultures worldwide. My failure to thus learn and study made it inevitable that I'd step on some cultural minority people's toes. Thus I am culpable for the toe-stepping even if I technically I did it on accident.

In Law & Order, they mention this thing called "reckless endangerment" where someone got killed because someone else got careless. The careless person didn't intentionally kill the other person, but the careless person did put the other person in a clearly life-threatening position that was likely to lead to the other person's death. In such episodes on Law & Order, that person was considered guilty of an "indirect type of murder," so to speak. They knew a death might result from their carelessness but they went ahead and threw caution to the wind anyway. Reckless endangerment.

A similar example (and quite possibly a subset of reckless endangerment) is when a drunk driver kills a pedestrian. The drunk driver can plead, "But it wasn't me that caused that death! It was the alcohol's fault! I didn't even know what I was doing!" Ah, but they did know what they were doing. They were getting themselves drunk, and then proceeding to get behind the wheel of a car, a combination that any reasonable person will admit puts lives in danger. So yeah that's probably a type of reckless endangerment.

And maybe that's the crime I'm guilty of. I didn't learn/study enough about other cultures, therefore it is ultimately my fault if I offend someone from those other cultures.

Tempting as it is to come up with this or that rationalization (or even lame excuse) about why I didn't learn/study more about such an important issue, I'll simply enter a plea of guilty and maybe look for a plea bargain. Okay, I was born ignorant and I willfully remained ignorant. So: to all you of any cultural minority who may be reading this post ... would you be willing to forgive me? Would you first of all be willing to clear yourself of any ill-will you might be tempted to harbor against me, and if so, would you even be willing to trust me as a person who at least wants to do better? Can this thread count as the start of my long-delayed education?

Yet I'm not utterly uneducated. I did get to know some black people here and there in the years between 1984 and 2007. But that doesn't clear me at all in the areas of getting to know Hispanics, Native Americans, Chinese, handicapped persons, etc., so I guess a guilty plea, an apology, and a request for the plea bargain of forgiveness based on me starting to learn about other cultures on this thread here and now, is all I've got to offer all those other minorities.

I don't suppose there's some easy reading material I could start with? I'm really bogged down and double-booked these days, though I know that's just an excuse. But isn't the real thing I ought to do, that I should go and live amongst cultures far and wide so as to truly get to know the people themselves? and how long does one need to live within one given culture before one's knowledge about that culture can be considered adequate?

I'll tell you what's ironic: I don't know the *white* culture/s like I should. Why would I say that? because I'm an introvert. I don't go out trying to get to know people ... except on the internet, if that counts for anything. The biggest "live social thing" I do is go to poly potlucks. It's been hard for me to get to feeling a bit comfortable and familiar with the white poly New Mexicans attending those potlucks, and now here I am about to move to Seattle, so then I'll have to start all over.

My habit in meatspace is usually to only get to know one person at a time, very cautiously. I don't usually like crowds, and I suck at walking up to a stranger and introducing myself or otherwise starting a conversation. So even if I live among whites I don't learn much about them in proportion to the amount of time I spend among them. Heck, I basically know nothing about the people who live right nextdoor to me. About all I know is that one neighbor has a dog or two with a really obnoxious bark that said dog employs long and often for seemingly no reason. As for the people who live above me, all I know about them is that now and then they bang around up there. My ceiling picks up the vibrations.

As an introvert, I have no excuse for offending people of any race, nationality, culture, or color. Because I've spent a lifetime *not learning about people.* I'm trying to do a little better in that area now and poly potlucks are kind of my way of making a start. Poly forums are another way of making a start, but I know that doesn't count for nearly as many points as live contact would.


"But I almost feel I was being unfair in not mentioning specifics in order to not embarrass kdtrenumberated."

Oookay ... I'm sure some kind of insult is buried in my new nickname, but I can't tell what it is. What does "trenumberated" or "renumberated" mean? Wiktionary's no help. Please, embarrass me by revealing the insult.

Nobutseriously: I'd rather be embarrassed and know exactly what I've done wrong, than I would bumble around in the darkness bumping into things. Please turn on the light switch so that I (and all of Polyamory.com) can see what I'm doing wrong. I just hope I don't find out I forgot to clothe myself today. (Okay that last sentence was a joke. And it was hilarious too, wasn't it ...)

"Honestly, and in the event you don't feel you can be honest, it is perfectly fine to state whatever info you wish to lie about will not be divulged because every person is certainly entitled to privacy."

Wait ... Do you mean that if you told me what I was doing wrong, it would threaten or violate your privacy? If so, well then that sucks for everybody. I guess you'll have to decide whether you want to put your privacy at risk. I can only ask you to give me that private information; I can't (and wouldn't want to) force you to. Only you can decide whether your privacy (and the freedom that privacy enables) is worth more than my sorry-ass "race crusade."

Wait wait wait ... Is this actually a problem of me proposing to pry into the private information of cultural knowledge? For example, if I try to learn more about how black people feel about things and what they experience, does that constitute me trying to violate those black people's right to privacy? Well if so, that puts me in a pickle. I'm damned if I do learn about a culture because then I'm violating their privacy, but I'm also damned if I don't learn about a culture because then I'm remaining intentionally ignorant. Well hell; now what am I supposed to do?

Oh well, I guess the most important thing is that I don't pry into other people's private lives. Which is, perhaps, why I prefer being an introvert? :) D'oh.

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Part 2 of 4

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"If you have some sort of power exchange relationships with slaves who willfully submit, more power to you buddy ol pal, but you have no power over me, and anytime you feel you do it is a violation, because I do not submit to blackmail, threats of violence or any kind of threat really except to make sure that those who threaten me follow through with their word."

Ummm ... that's okay, I won't try to insist that you submit to me. I can't inflict violence on you because I don't know how to physically locate you, and even if I did, I wouldn't do something like that. I deplore physical violence.

I can't blackmail you because I don't have any incriminating information about you, and even if I did, I doubt I'd use it. I just want to live my own life, not rule over yours. Sorry if the advice I gave earlier was offensive; I didn't mean it as a command, just as a suggestion, but I apologize if I stated it assertively and thus made it sound like a command.

The only "threat" I have threatened you with is the threat that I'll stop bugging you by ceasing to reply to your posts. Now come on. Replying to any member's posts is a voluntary action; I was never under oath to answer any of your posts in the first place. So please, let's not consider that one a threat, let's just call it an attempt by me to draw some healthy boundaries around myself.

And I guess I should be following through on that "threat" right now, but I admit, your latest post here was more interesting than it was distressing, so I guess I'm indulging temptation and playing along for a little longer.

No I don't think I have any power over you. This is an open forum, the mods can't babysit everything, and you have a goodly amount of freedom to express yourself here just about however you want. The limits to that freedom are an issue for you and the mods to work out, and no you don't have to worry about me "ratting you out to the mods." I've no interest in doing that.

Uh ... as for slaves who willingly submit to me, I guess that would be my dog and cat? I've no others that I'm aware of at this time.


"Honesty is a big deal to me, and I believe it is *the only* way to successfully gain rights or even just to shed the social stigma, so I don't appreciate stories which are made up, falsified, even when they are seemingly justified in order to gain ground in the poly world, so to speak. I know that everyone fibs here and there, so plucking little heart strings here and there to sell book, that's one thing, and not wrong per se however I do believe you should think about changing direction as to the whole monogamy is bad and unenlightened while polyamory is good, evolved [sic] and highly enlightened."

:confused: Umm ... you're addressing me? Ahem. Okay in case you are? let me just give you my assurance that I'm a pretty darn honest person, not that I've never ever practiced deception before, but let's just say that everything I've posted on Polyamory.com has been 100% bonafide true, insofar as I know the truth when accounting for my limited knoweldge.

"I do believe you should think about changing direction as to the whole monogamy is bad and unenlightened while polyamory is good, evolved [sic] and highly enlightened."

Now here's where I really can't tell who you're addressing. Have I somehow gave the impression that I think monogamy is bad and unenlightened while pologamy is good, evolved [sic] and highly enlightened? If so, then I've miscommunicated beyond my wildest dreams. I completely hold that monogamy and polaymory are equally good, evolved, and enlightened, so long as whoever puts them into practice does so honestly, sincerely, and considerately. If you were addressing me then you must have me confused with some other member; I do know that some people feel polyamory is somehow superior, but I'm not one of those people.

And juuust in case you meant "polygamy" rather than "polyamory:" I don't hold polygamy on a lower or higher plane either, unless we're talking about child brides or women who've been brainwashed into submitting to patriarchal polygyny. "Messed up polygamy" is worse than healthy monogamy as well as worse than healthy polyamory.

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"I don't believe you were ever as active as you claim and I sure as hell do not believe you went on a mission, so while my religious beliefs do not align with Mormons I certainly do not appreciate hearing derogatory words about them as a culture, especially from such a passive aggressive person such as you."

Ohhh ... then this isn't about me dissing black people; it's about me dissing Mormon people. (Which is dissing a culture, certainly.) Well that's a whole other kettle of fish.

Where to begin? I'll try this bit of honesty (yes, I claim that it's honest but you're still free to disbelieve me of course): I've struggled with a lot of bitter feelings I held against the church when I was in the process of leaving the church, and for several years after my name had been removed from the roles of the church. It's taken me a long time, but I'm finally starting to feel better about the church and its culture. But that doesn't mean I think everything about the church and its culture is hunky dory, either.

Look, you're talking about a church/culture that has (had at least in the past) warped ideas about blacks (and how they came to be black), yes relinquished patriarchal polygyny here on Earth but still promises patriarchal polygyny in the eternities and in fact, has led and/or let its people believe that Heavenly Father has many Wives, has spent a fortune on killing same-sex marriage in California (before California recently won that back), as well as on buying a mall in Salt Lake City when lots of churchmembers can't even afford to feed their families, reserves ultimate authority in the church for males only, exercises what amounts to brainwashing in my opinon, threatens those who leave the church with eternal damnation, and (in my opinion) has fibbed right and left about bad/nasty/dishonest stuff it and its leaders have done in the past.

I don't consider any of that to be an act of stereotyping on my part, because yes I certainly have had many years (really 1965 thru 1995+) deeply immersed in the church (and its culture), and have done much study (in meatspace books and on the internet), etc.

Now before going postal on me, let me say that I have many friends and relatives who are (ranging from fairly to very active) churchmembers who I very much respect and admire. Heck, most of them probably disagree with (most or all of) the cultural memes I've described in the paragraph above. Judging an individual is a whole different ballgame than judging a church or a culture. I can take issue with the bad parts of the church and its affixed culture, while still appreciating the good parts of the church, its affixed culture, and the truly kind and Christian members who are active (or even inactive) in it.

A few years ago I lost (to complications from diabetes) my favorite uncle. He was as loyal to the church as one could ever ask, yet he was accepting towards all people and a Catholic or atheist would be made to feel as welcome in his home and presence as would his home teachers. He truly exemplified what I think an active Mormon ought to be.

My oldest brother is almost obsessively loyal to the church and has even been known to get on my nerves with his obsessive conservatism ... but I still respect the hell out of him because he's the most giving, selfless person I've ever known and he wouldn't hurt a fly.

So you see, I have mixed feelings about the church and its people. I only pointed out the "fence-riders" meme to illustrate why I might be mentally challenged in the area of accepting and understanding black people. Not that I mean to excuse myself, just that I mean to put my ignorance in some perspective. Ultimately none of that was the church's fault, any more than an individual Nazi soldier could blame Hitler for whatever role that individual Nazi soldier had played in the Holocaust. We can't always blame our upbringing. Sooner or later it's our responsibility if we cling to notions such as the "fence-riding blacks" idea.

Luckily for me I sloughed off that particular meme? doctrine? before I ever even met any black people. But I'm just saying, I don't think the Mormon church and its primary Utahn people do much to help prepare a guy like me for understanding and appreciating the various cultures of black people around the world. I'm on my own in that area. I have to break away from the traditions of my and my ancestors' past in order to get the perspective about black people that I need to get. That's not the church's problem; that's my problem. But again, just trying to put my position in perspective here.

Crud. Now if you need proof that I was an active Mormon and that I indeed served a mission in the Detroit area, you'd need to delve into church records ... hmmm, or not, since I did have my name removed from the roles of the church. And then I had my name legally changed -- to a common name, Kevin Thompson. Not sayin' what my middle name now is because it's not a common name. See the thing is, I like a certain amount of privacy too, so if I was gonna change my name, I wanted it to be a common name so that I wouldn't "stick out." So that people couldn't google my first and last name and easily find me here on a poly forum, for example, since my two V companions do not want me to out us.

And for that reason, I must reluctantly decline to reveal my birth name to you, as then that name would be affixed to this poly site, and people (like family members of mine) could google that name and find me mentioned in this post on this site. Uh-oh. Then I'd be outed as a polyamorist, which I promised my poly companions I'd avoid like the plague. Guess you're screwed if you want to believe me, because I can't post a shred of conclusive evidence on this site without outing myself as a polyamorist.

Nonetheless, I fervently vow that I was born into the church, into a very active family, baptized at eight, deacon at twelve, missionary at 19, all the things that good Mormon boys are supposed to do (except that pesky masturbation thing but hey, I confessed that to my bishop and received his official pardon). I was married in the Washington D.C. temple in 1987 and served many other callings for the next 10+ years: ward clerk assistant, choir director, organist, Priesthood accompanist, Primary accompanist, ward mission leader, home teacher of course duh, and possibly others I've forgotten by now. I've lost count of how many blessings I've done with consecrated oil for the sick and afflicted. As a youth and missionary I was awarded various honors for excellence in learning the scriptures, missionary discussions, etc.

Frankly, I don't understand why you don't believe me. What would my motivation be for lying about this stuff? You do realize, don't you, that bishops and even General Authorities have been known to leave the church, so it's not like you can say, "No one who was that deep into the church would ever leave."

And how's this for evidence, even if it's not conclusive: Ask me questions about church doctrine, culture, and traditions. See how many questions you can trip me up on. I bet you'll be surprised how many questions I can answer accurately. For crying out loud, I still have a (large print) quad (the text of which I read cover-to-cover as a teen) and 1985 hymnal (which I've musically analyzed cover-to-cover) sitting up in my closet, and I still refer to them now and then (especially the quad). I haven't lost my interest in the church, I just don't want to be an official member anymore. And I couldn't be an official member anymore, not unless I lied my way back in, because the church strictly forbids the type of polyamory that I am practicing.

I guess if that's not good enough evidence for you, then you'll have to disbelieve me and consider me to be a lying liar about the church and my relationship with it. Not saying I've never ever fibbed or been dishonest in my life. But I swear in the name of everything I hold dear and holy -- e.g. my poly companions, my pets, science, NASA, etc. -- that I was every bit as active in (and loyal to) the church as I've described, and that I certainly completed (with honorable release at the end) a mission in the areas in and around Detroit (1985-1986). What more can I give you but my solemn word? I've explained to you why I can't reveal the name my parents picked out for me.

[continued below]
Part 4 of 4

[continued from above]

Despite all the bad stuff I've said about the church, I'll still gladly agree that the church does much that is wonderful and good. If ever a natural disaster such as a hurricane devastates a city, the church will supply some of the first volunteers to help with the clean-up, rescuing of disaster site victims, and re-building. The church teaches its members to believe in some weird stuff that I don't approve of, but it also teaches its members to be kind and giving and polite and there's nothing wrong with those things. It has built fantastic temples (I love awesome architecture) and thus beautified the ground on which they stand. It has helped people kick drug addictions, helped the old, sick, and feeble, and transformed hard-core street gang criminals into peaceful, loving disciples of Christ. I am grateful it has done (and continues to do) these things.

I'm even grateful for the path the church set before me. I didn't always understand why I was following it, and sometimes I thought I'd made a terrible mistake by continuing to follow it. But ultimately, it's that path that led me (as a missionary) to Michigan where I met the beautiful woman with whom I'd share 26 years of marriage, to Detroit where I met some of the people I've most loved and admired, and from Utah (as a returned missionary) back to Michigan to live with my wife in her home, thence to become a piano teacher in Mt. Clemens and thence to also become an organist and choir accompanist for a Lutheran church in New Baltimore, and that's where I met the two people who today are my brother-husband and my lady-lover in a poly-fi V. Without the church, I wouldn't be where I am today. I wouldn't have met the wonderful, beautiful people I've met. I wouldn't have the friends I now have. So even if much of it was serendipity at work, I still can't deny that I owe the church a debt I could never repay.

When I left the church, I left in a state of bitterness, anger, and a determination never to forget or forgive. I can't claim to have gotten over all of that, but I feel that I've gotten over most of it. Today I remain separate from the church simply because the church and I aren't a compatible match. Our beliefs are too divergent to allow us to live together in peace. It wouldn't be good for me to return to the church, and it wouldn't be good for the church either. I'm grateful for the single trail I and the church hiked on together for so many years, but now we've passed a fork in the trail. The church took the fork to the right; I took the fork to the left.

I don't blame the church for having a "brainwashing culture." That's just what happens when one generation passes its memes onto the next generation. My parents didn't mean to screw me up by indoctrinating me with their beliefs. They honestly wanted the best for me; namely, eternal marriage and glory in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom. What decent parent would want their child to have anything less? and could my parents, in turn, if they wanted to, blame their parents? No, and for exactly the same reason. A devoted Christian father and mother always want their children to inherit Heaven and companionship with God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit, and nothing less. You know how they say it's the thought that counts? Well, I appreciate the thought my parents had in the gift they tried to give me. It saddens me to have rejected that gift. I know my parents must fear for my soul, but I appreciate the respect they've shown for my chosen path in life (even though they don't know about the poly part).

I suppose you'll accuse me of trying to spoonfeed you a feel-good story so that you'll believe me without the requisite evidence. Alas, the best evidence I can offer is the knowledge that I have of the church and its culture -- its Utahn (and Michiganian) cultures at any rate. I don't know much about the church's Oregonian culture, though coincidentally my wife was born in Oregon and is now buried in the sleepy little town that was her birthplace.

If I could, I'd take you with me in a time machine so you could see all the good things I'd experienced in the church. I wouldn't even want to show you the bad stuff. I'd like you to believe me, but I don't demand it. I respect your right to accuse me of lying, and don't begrudge you making the accusation public. Each person will have to decide for themselves whether they think I'm telling the truth, I suppose. Maybe I'm just a really slick liar and that's why so many people take my story for granted? I am surprised, though, that you're so suspicious toward me about this. It's an accusation I didn't see coming, so color me clueless I guess.

In a way, though, none of that matters now. Some may believe I've personally met a bunch of black people; others may not believe. But what matters right now is that I start learning whatever I can about minority cultures, from the people who belong to those cultures. I believe I've met some such people here on this forum, and that makes me happy. It's a start. We can all agree to start from here, can't we? regardless of what was or wasn't reality in the past. It's an imperfect world, so I, at least, am willing to settle for that.


Don't know that it matters, but, for the record: I solemnly promise that I only have one account on this site, and that I am the only person who posts using that account. In a word: Kevin = kdt26417 and kdt26417 = Kevin. It's exactly that simple, and not one bit more complicated. There's no conspiracy here that I'm aware of.

There is one final thought. Kind of along the lines of, I don't *really* *know* anything. For all I know, I could be just a brain in a vat. In a similar fashion, I suppose it's possible that all my memories of my past are false memories. Maybe it's stuff I think happened, but it really didn't happen. [shrug] Who knows.

Reminds me a bit of Blade Runner, where the one secretary had pictures of herself as a child, a full-length memory of her childhood, and stuff like taking piano lessons, which is how she could explain her ability to play the piano. And yet, the truth was, she was just a replicant. Created maybe a couple of years ago, implanted with false memories, coincidental knowledge, and fabricated photos to complete the illusion that she was a human being. It's sobering to imagine what she must have felt like when she realized that truth.

Or like the early scene in the Matrix, where Thomas Anderson (a.k.a. Neo) is offered a red and a blue pill. The blue pill will restore him to his apparent reality, a regular old city in which he has a nine-to-five cubicle job and hacks on the side. But he chooses to take the red pill, in order to get a glimpse of true reality. Once he's swallowed that pill, he soon discovers that his whole life has actually been an illusion, while his atrophied body has been wasting away in a glass shell, wired up so he could serve as a battery to the computers and robots that control the real world. In less than a minute's time, Neo's "real life" as Thomas Anderson has disappeared and Neo has become the real person who he is.

Fascinating movies, well worth the watching, and refreshingly thought-provoking. But we still have to decide what we're going to try to do in the world we seem to live in, even if we know we might find out that this world is entirely illusionary. Are moral/ethical principles nullified by a state of non-reality? I personally say no. We're always obligated to do the best we can with whatever reality we have as we understand it.

Now I apologize for giving offense, but if I believe (X) and (Y) has happened to me, then I consider it okay to work from that belief and post it here as the honest memory I have of the past in my brain as I know it. I hope you won't begrudge me that much freedom.

I guess the big question is: Did I just derail this thread? Allow me to suggest that the answer is no: Reason being, we're talking about cultural issues, and even if the focus shifts from black culture to church culture, it's still on-topic in that sense. Still ... we are getting off on an awfully big tangent here. Sorry about that.
( I suppose I should NOT mention that my family is RLDS?)


I will leave it alone except to say, I walked away from Christianity as a whole and became an "i don't know or care to bother wasting more time contemplating it" person.

Whoah now wait ... Doesn't that mean you're patronizing/stereotyping/discriminating against the Christian and RLDS cultures? :eek:

Wow folks. I'm gonna try to get us all back to our regularly-scheduled program soon. Please understand that this is the first time in my life that I've ever had anyone doubt my "stories about the church." It was so shocking, I figured I'd better write some kind of manifesto for the benefit of those "who want to believe."

Might go down in history as a dumb four-post post; after all, how do I know Dirtclustit isn't pretending to disbelieve my missionary story just to see how much verbiage he could trick me into pumping out? If that's what's just happened then congrats man, and sure enough I'm embarrassed. Four posts it took me to write that one post. I do believe that's my new record.

I guess it's just too hard to believe that I could have ever been a missionary in Detroit, because if I was, it would mean I had this meager six-month interval of "credentials" to brag about when "proving" I know how to "do the other races rite."

Dirtclustit: You've accused many Polyamory.com members (perhaps not always naming who you were accusing) of using multiple accounts -- like sock puppet accounts -- to create the false sense of agreement in their would-be discounted opinon. So I'll ask you: Are you projecting?

The walls of text you've just received have been brought to you by the letters W, T, and F ... and by Franklin Veaux. Stay tuned for more off-topic drama!
What is RLDS? Is that one of the more fundamentalist offshoots of the LDS?

Also, @kdt, why respond to the bizarre? Just because dirt lost his shit -again! - and weirdly accused you of not being a 'real' Mormon because he inexplicably doubts you went on mission does not mean you should feed the crazy. You indeed might not be real! (I am actually a chihuahua with barking recognition software.) Even if you are not 'real', You owe nothing to anyone here. In fact, you have every right to ignore my butting in here to offer a suggestion.

Bark! Bark! Growl! Woof! *goddamn software*
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ColorsWolf, that was a good post. It makes me feel more hopeful about the promise of the future (and the chance to be real friends).

And I agree that half (or most) of the battle WRT improving cultural relations is to get to know people not even just as "a culture," but as individual, unique people. No two white persons are alike; no two black persons are alike; etc. etc.

As for stereotyping, I just think it's a tool that the mind uses. Sometimes it's a good tool for the job (e.g. "most rocks are hard"), other times it's like trying to use a wrench to do brain surgery (e.g. "most blacks are criminals"). It behooves all humans to observe themselves carefully when they stereotype someone or something, and reason through whether that stereotype is likely to be useful or rather than that, if it's likely to be in need of correction.

I appreciate your apology, I think it's sincere, and I honor you for the courage it takes to publicly admit that "sometimes I need help."

There's no shame in needing meds and/or counseling. I take a shitload of meds and while counseling has historically been less than stellar at helping me, the meds are almost as necessary to my survival (and vaguely normal functioning) as air and water. I've been diagnosed with a shitload of disorders: BPD, PTSD, bi-polar, Asperger's, schizophrenia (a "mild" version lacking split personalities and voices from the Mothership in my head, but a version that causes much fear, paranoia, and hyperbole in how I interpret things emotionally), OCD, ADD, general depression, and on and on. No diagnosis seems to be quite it; I almost seem to have some sort of as-yet-unnamed disorder that is something of a hybrid of all those other things.

And it's been decades of Hell, for my doctors and especially for me, trying to figure out which meds will help me. They're too activating (ramping up my anxiety), they're too sedating (depressing me and putting a damper on my sexual functions), they directly dampen my sexual functions which really fires up the anxiety, a few have made me downright freak out and had to be discontinued immediately. My latest doctor, when I first met him, looked at the list of meds I'd taken so far and basically remarked (with eyes widened), "My God, you've tried everything!"

What's working right now, for the most part, is Zyprexa. But the drawback there is that Zyprexa has a penchant for causing weight gain and diabetes. If I get diabetes, that could be a disaster, since diabetes is infamous for causing people to have wild mood swings and mindless freak-outs ... just the type of thing that my poly companions can't stand. The "cure" could end up indirectly becoming the very reason why I'll someday be kicked to the curb. Add to that the tendency to gain weight (yeah like I needed to gain weight anyway), and that's just likely to make the diabetes worse. So I hope like hell that I'll somehow dodge the Zyprexa bullets, because so far Zyprexa is indeed the only drug with a history of calming me down without making me droop into a lifeless state of depression.

My point is, it's not easy to work through having a mental and/or emotional disorder, and I can say that to you level and eye-to-eye because I'm definitely no better off than you in that sense. I definitely need help. I'm lucky to have a woman in my life who's downright obsessive about studying every psychological drug on the market. She knows her prescription drugs so well that my current doctor has asked her: "Are you a nurse? Well, you sure could be." Hell, she's actually told him stuff about this or that drug, getting the reaction, "Oh yes, yes, that's right, I remember now." So she's helping the doctor! He respects her opinions, I'll say that much.

Well, I've talked to her about the "Zyprexa --> diabetes --> wild mood swings and freak-outs --> the end of our poly relationship" concerns I have. She seems sympathetic but remains desperate enough to keep me on Zyprexa anyway, at least for now. I suppose it does buy us some time if nothing else.

So I won't kid you. If you're serious about getting the help you need, you'll probably find that it's a long, tedious, frustrating process. It could take years (or decades if you're like me) before you (and loved ones on your team) finally work out a combination of things that at least prove to be adequate for you.

In the meantime, yes, put lots of effort into thinking a lot about what you're going to say before say it. Ask yourself: "If I say this, in the way I'm considering saying it, using the words I'm planning to use, will I more likely get what I want from my audience, or will I be more likely to alienate and drive them away?" You need to develop a system of communication that helps people feel better about themselves even while getting you what you yourself want, rather than a system of communication that tends to make other people feel crappy about themselves, and maybe even becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy if all the denigrating labels start to stick to them. Make a goal to always communicate with a positive spirit! Avoid negativity! Seek common ground, no matter how different another person's perspective may seem to be from your own. There's always common ground out there somewhere if you look hard enough. And once you find it, that's what you can build on.

And finally, aside perhaps Jesus Christ, no one I know of will ever stop needing to learn to understand themselves and others better, and to improve themselves as a person and a human being. There's no shame in having faults and vices to overcome. We're all riddled with faults and vices, some big, some little, all counterproductive and hurtful to ourselves and others.

Remember again Stephen R. Covey's philosophy: Look for a win-win in every situation. An outcome in which you and the person you're addressing will both end up feeling better about yourselves, and becoming better people as well. That's what life's all about. Americans are very competitive and tend to think that "I can only win if someone else loses." But Stephen R. Covey teaches us that if one person loses, everyone will lose. There is no such thing as a win-lose situation. It's either win-win, lose-lose, or "no deal" (no deal meaning that both parties agree to part amicably having found that they just can't help each other). It's a principle that works both in business matters and in relationship matters.

I will do my best to help you with your goals in any way I can. All's I ask is that you do the same for me in return.

Kevin T.

Thank you, I will try my best for you.~

If we can both learn from every conversation we have no matter how small, perhaps we could work our way to bettering ourselves as becoming the people that we want to be.~

There's some thing I want to tell you: I also describe this in my profile on OkCupid.com, but here is the basic of it: my mind isn't "hinged" as I often think of others as thinking of themselves, my mind is "unhinged": this is a compliment to me and it is some thing I am very grateful for: because without me being this way I don't know what kind of person I would be now and how I would see things-it allows me to "think" more "freely" from my perspective than many I have learned the existence of: often I can switch my perspective more times during a day than many might do in a lifetime, but I think this is because I often switch my perspective otherwise I get "stuck" in a "negative thought process"; but because my mind is like this some times it is harder than other times to remain "stable" like I have said above and so much more, some one once said that "the line between insanity and genius is almost non-existent": I don't know about that, but I do understand the benefits and the drawbacks of "being me".~

I along with every one else, grow learn, better myself, and change as I go through life.~


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I have no idea what you mean about posting from different profiles. Just to be clear though, you've said more offensive things than kdt. It's getting quite tedious, all this, I'm starting to question the ethics of debating with people who really aren't cognitively sound.
What is RLDS?

When Joseph Smith died, the Mormons as we know them today followed his friend Brigham Young, left Missouri and continued the church in Utah. The RLDS stayed in Missouri under Joseph Smiths wife and son. They have their temple in Independence Missouri.
Same teachings up to the point where Joseph Smith died. Then things begin to differ. They both have the Bible, Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. However-the D/C is considered a living book that continues to be written (in both churches to this day) so what has been written since JS death is different.
The RLDS (which have since changed their name due to confusion with Mormons to "Community of Christ") church does not believe in polygamy, just as the mainstream Mormon church does not. But they do all come from the same beginnings under Joseph Smith.

On that note-KDT I would agree, very different cultures, thought not necessarily races. I recall when the RLDS church came across the quandry of having done missions into India where men had multiple wives-which went against church doctrine. So what to do what to do. They spent an inordinate amount of time discussing it and concluded that it would be abusive (their word) and dysfunctional (my word) to force men to divorce their "extra" wives in order to join the church, because it would put those women out in their society as, well, trash. Anyway, they opted instead to alter their "rules" to accept that families in that society were free to have multiple wives blah blah blah. I find it very intriguing that the battle to accept homosexuals into the fold openly -went very smoothly a few years later. Whereas accepting women into the priesthood which happened a few years prior caused a damn near 50/50 break in the church with one group leaving the community and starting another church of their own because they were so against women in the priesthood.

****back to topic*****Anyway- I think that culture and race are actually different (and are defined different) and that sometimes the issue is cultural. But sometimes the issue of segregation is not cultural. Sometimes it is cuased more by a fear on one side or both that the difference in race COULD be a problem (because it HAS BEEN before) and to avoid the potential problem, they avoid the intermixing.
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I have to admit-all of this discussion is actually helping me with my class. Finals are in a week and a half. I've gone through this book forward and backward during our discussion. I'm at a point now where I am starting to memorize which side of the page certain information is etc. Pretty cool.

Found another pertinent quote/comment/topic for this thread.

p. 346 of the book.
"stereotype threat-a disruptive concern, when facing a negative stereotype, that one will be evaluated based on a negative stereotype. Unlike self-fulfilling prophesies that hammer one's reputation into one's self-concept, stereotype threat situations have immediate effects.

Just being sensitive to prejudice is enough to make us self-conscious when living as a numerical minority-perhaps as a black person in a white community or as a white person in a black community. As with other circumstances that siphon off our mental energy and attention, the result can be diminished mental and physical stamina (inzlicht & others, 2006). Placed in a situation where others expect you to perform poorly, your anxiety may also cause you to confirm the belief."


"Cognitive sources of prejudice; recent research shows how the stereotyping that underlies prejudice is a by-product of our thinking-our ways of simplifying the world. Clustering people into categories exaggerates the uniformity within a group and the differences between groups.
A distinctive individual, such as a lone minority person, has a compelling quality that makes us aware of differences that would otherwise go unnoticed. The occurrence of two distinctive events (for example, a minority person committing an unusual crime) helps create an illusory correlation between people and behavior. Attributing others' behavior to their dispositions can lead to the group-serving bias: assigning outgroup members' negative behaviors to their natural character while explaining away their positive behaviors.
Blaming the victim results from the common presumption that because this is a just world, people get what they deserve.

Motivational Sources of prejudice:
People's motivations affect prejudice. Frustration breeds hostility, which people sometimes vent on scapegoats and sometimes express more directly against competing groups.
People also are motivated to view themselves and their groups as superior to other groups. Even trivial group memberships lead people to favor their own group over others. A threat to self-image heightens such ingroup favoritism, as does the need to belong.

On a more positive note, if people are motivated to avoid prejudice, they can break the prejudice habit."
Re (from opalescent): Why respond to Dirtclustit ... because I ... felt like it ... because I was "Fascinated, Captain" by the unexpected. Yes it's true. I had no idea he was gonna say I never did missionary work in Detroit. That one just came out of thin air. I was too darned "Fascinated, Captain" by that unprecedented change of affairs as I understood them.

I guess I gave him a C for Creativity, and am hoping he'll go into more detail about what he thinks my motivations for lying about my mission would have been. Was curious to find out how I'd respond to this kind of unprecedented challenge.

Sorry about the four-post monster. :(

"Just because dirt lost his shit -- again! -- and weirdly accused you of not being a 'real' Mormon because he inexplicably doubts you went on mission does not mean you should feed the crazy."

[bowing head in contrite humility] ... I know, I know; I fed the crazy. Sorry about that. I didn't want to ... but then suddenly it was too tempting. Hey, sometimes the Twilight Zone can be a fun place to visit ...

And yes, I did see the sign going in: "Please don't feed the trolls and the crazies around here." And I wanted to save my peanuts for the more worthy exhibits, but then that little devil on my left shoulder whispered in my ear and against all the counsel of the little angel on my right shoulder, I tossed some peanuts into Dirtclustit's disheveled pen. I'm embarrassed. I'm not worthy. I suck. Please have mercy on my own not-so-sane-as-it-seems soul.

"Even if you are not 'real,' you owe nothing to anyone here."

I agree. I only did it for fun ... honest injun ...

"In fact, you have every right to ignore my butting in here to offer a suggestion."

No your suggestion is wise and reasonable. I promise I'll try to do better in the future.

Re (from Post #92):
"Dirtclustit, this is by far the longest post you'll ever get from me. From now on, I'm going to distance myself from you, and you're welcome to brag that's it's because you supposedly proved me wrong. Eventually I'll probably stop repying to anything you say altogether -- a threat which would scare ColorsWolf but I know it doesn't scare you so score yourself a point."

Given the fact that I posted the above statement publicly, I apologize to Dirtclustit, to the remaining members of Polyamory.com, and yea, even to myself. I presumed to predict the future and then became the proof that my prediction was wrong. I didn't *say* it was a promise (actually I said it was a threat which was too harsh a word; "prospect" would have been a better word), but you could certainly rightfully begrudge the fact that I didn't keep my word.

The above quote should have read: "Dirtclustit, this is *probably* by far the longest post you'll ever get from me. From now on, I'll *probably* distance myself from you ..." Then at least I wouldn't have ended up breaking my own word.

Please forgive/pardon me for doing that, taking into account how shocked I was that Dirtclustit (said he) didn't believe my "mission story," as well as the fact that his post (the one I so long-windedly indulged), while still being rather aggressive, was at least reasonable enough to make more plain what it is that I've been doing that's (supposedly) been bugging him. Finally, some material I could really work with; not just vague, insulting riddles.

If I was never very active at all in the church, and invested little or no study in the LDS scriptures (the King James version of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Articles of Faith), and if as part and parcel to all that, I neither served a mission nor thus spent time amongst black people in Detroit, then you could claim that I was unqualified to claim any knowledge about any black people, and that I was unqualified to claim any significant knowledge about the Mormon church, and thus was totally out of line in saying anything that would make the Mormon church look bad. So if Dirtclustit truthfully disbelieves my church-and-mission story, then he has legit reason to protest much of what I've posted in this thread.

But I admit, I'm starting to have suspicious thoughts of my own, and there's new reason for me to play it safer in the future. It all seems so surreal, and I've started to wonder, who's playing who? Bleah, that game's losing its novelty. For example, I'm now wondering how many accounts the user of the Dirtclustit account has.


ColorsWolf, your last post was excellent, and made sense. I agree with you that "too much sanity" (e.g. too tight of a hinge) is arguably as bad for a guy or gal as is "too much insanity." So I'll pardon your "unhingedness" if you'll pardon my (on-and-off) "hingedness."



@ london ... I'm sad to say that Dirtclustit's probably "less hinged" than ColorsWolf, though I admit that's my personal opinon (and grant me that it doesn't count as an insult because I know that I, for one, don't choose to have the mental and emotional disorders that I have).

This ain't the first time Dirtclustit has accused someone of having multiple accounts (e.g. sock puppet accounts) on this forum. I think he believes that a whole lot of people (even Franklin Veaux! You figure that one out) are posting on this forum from many different accounts: usually for the purpose of tricking other Polyamory.com members into thinking that more people subscribe to this or that opinion or position than the true number of people who subscribe to it. It sounds crazy to me, but I admit it's technically possible.

Anyway london, I really really appreciate (and need) your morale support for me, on this forum and especially on this thread. Hope I'll never do anything to give you cause to regret that support.

And you're right, my indulgence of Dirtclustit's weird accusations is questionable, both in terms of whether it's a good way for anyone to spend any of their time, but also in terms of whether it's doing Polyamory.com any favors (which makes it a moral/ethical consideration).

I don't know whether my four-post post was such a great idea. From the moment I posted it, I've changed my mind a dozen times at least about whether I should have posted it. In the end, I guess I'm just not sure.

By the way, there's a chance Dirtclustit isn't nuts, but rather, a reeeally clever troll. Or both ... "crazy like a fox" as they say.


LovingRadiance, loved the post where you gave us more info about the Community of Christ (a.k.a. the RLDS church). Most of it was stuff I didn't previously know and I found it, well ... "Fascinating Captain." :) I knew about the contraversy over giving the Priesthood to the women of the church, and I knew why it originally broke away from the LDS church, but the rest of your post was new info for me. So thank you for sharing it.

But quick handy bullet list:

  • LDS [adjective] = of or belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the "original" Mormons who are now based out of those huge buildings in Salt Lake City).
  • RLDS [adjective] = of of belonging to the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, now known as the "Community of Christ." Probably the first break-off from the LDS church (or the first that got very far).
Anyway: you're right, culture really isn't the same thing as race. I'll go even further out on a limb and say that handicaps of any kind differ in type, nature, and inherent issues than both race and culture. I feel qualified to say that because I am handicapped (i.e., my brain is broken).

Heck you can hate other people for all kinds of dumb reasons. You can hate someone because of the shoes they wear, because they say "what what" too often, because they're a fan of some team you're rooting against, because they vote Republican, because they hate driving a stick shift, or whatever.

Even religion is distinguished from race, culture, and handicaps. These are all different excuses people can use to hate and/or discriminate against each other, and all come with their own sets of traits and issues. Having said that, there is overlap between various things. So when I say, "Polyamory and Racial Minorities" in my thread title, I do arguably make room for tangents into the cultural, religious, and handicap areas. The thread mostly has to do with the question, "How can we get more poly people from differing races to join hands?" But that question invites further discussion about a range of trials and experiences that outcasts of all kinds may experience. As long as we don't get *too* caught up in those tangents, then I'll personally consider us to still be reasonably near or within the fuzzy bounds of the official topic.


And by the way LR: good stuff from that book you've been reading.
Not wrong


Please don't apologize to me!

I guess what didn't come through in my short post is that you didn't do anything wrong. Yes, I believe not feeding the crazy is a good strategy to maintain one's own sanity.

But responding to Dirt is not 'wrong'. You felt the need to respond and there is nothing wrong in that. I just wanted to bring up to you that maybe it's not 'best'. But if you feel otherwise, that doesn't make you wrong. It just means you disagree with me. Which is perfectly acceptable. While I have strong opinions on just about everything, I also know my experience is not the sum total of the universe. (Although some days I feel it should be! :))

@LR, thank you for the info on the RLDS. I had heard about the groups that broke away after the polygamy decision but had no idea there were earlier divisions in Mormonism. TIL!
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Dirtclustit, it makes me sad to think that you view me as a lying cog in some vast conspiracy, but I suppose I need to make some peace with that. It's your right to believe as you see fit, and not my right to tell you what to believe.

I'm also awkwardly aware of the lameness of my so-called evidence. One can learn virtually anything about the Mormon church by fishing around on the web, so my spouting off Mormon doctrine or whatever doesn't prove that I was ever active or ever served a mission.

But consider one last thing. If I have no compunctions about lying as I purportedly have so far, why would I stop at claiming six months' mingling with the folks of Detroit? Not very smart of me; it would make more sense for me to claim that I'd been born in Detroit and lived there all my life. Then I could really claim I knew my stuff when talking about at least one black culture.

But perhaps it's not my alleged knowledge of Detroit black culture that bothers/troubles/angers you, it's my alleged knowledge of the Mormon church that bothers/troubles/angers you. Well as I said, that kind of knowledge can be fished right out of the worldwide web, so in the end does it matter where I got my knowledge from? except for knowledge of the subtle nuances of Mormon culture, which one can arguably only get by having lived the experience. [shrug] Whatever it is, that's what it is. I'm lying or not lying, various people do or don't believe me, and with all that going on, yet the world continues to turn and orbit around the Sun. Cities remain intact; dubious politics roll down their twisty roads as they've done for as long as written history can tell.

I don't think anything I say is going to have a big effect on the world, its laws, or its policies. I'm not any kind of authority or powerful person with some huge cult following. I'm just a very talkative person as you can see.

And as for getting along with other races/cultures, I'm probably too lazy to make huge changes in my life and routine even for that noble of a cause. I just want to know some little/easy things that a socially handicapped person as myself (thanks Dad for passing those genes on to me) can to do shrink racial and cultural divides just a little. If this thread accomplishes nothing more than me making a couple of new friends from races and/or cultures "foreign" to me, then I'll personally be satisfied.

And I've learned that I'll always make enemies here and there. I'll never please everyone. Sux coz I do like to please, but, then, who'd be pleased if I didn't pursue my own code of morals/ethics to the best of my knowledge? I have to do that much at least.


Re (from Dirtclustit):
"I never asked you for your name, you are not the type of person I would want to know anything about, let alone your name."

Okay; sorry for telling you my name, I realize that you didn't ask. Hey at least it's only my current name I revealed, not the original one. In case that's any consolation.

"I would only ask that you quit talking shit ..."

Well I'll try to not belabor the shit, but since it's shit that I actually believe, I can't guarantee that I'll never talk it again. Not what you'd have wanted to hear obviously but hey, I'm still fishing around for middle ground in case there is any.

"Don't fuck with the passage of equal rights because of some butt hurt slight from almost a decade ago."

If you mean, equal rights for the Mormon church, then I'll try not to fuck with the passage of that. Just so we agree that one guy's freedom ends where his nose ends and the next guy's nose begins!

"I don't care how you list the acronym LGBT and I don't care how subtle your slights are or how fucked up your positions are in articles."

Garsh, who do you think I am? I'm not Franklin Veaux, if that's what you're suggesting.

I think I did mention LGBT in some order or another, in some post way back there, but I don't even remember how I listed it. I've heard others list it so many ways: LGBT, LGBTA, LGBTI, LGBTQ, LGBTPQ, LGBTQIA and many more such as acronyms that start with "GL" instead of "LG."

I've never written an article in my life that I can recall (oh wait yes I have, but that was in school). I've written a post or three, and read some articles. Even decided what my own opinions were about those articles. But you need not care about that; it need not affect you one way or the other.

Subtle slights? Oh sure, I'm probably guilty, though I might be inclined to rather call them "humor in poor taste." But again, no need for you to care about any of that so I guess we're good.

"I also firmly believe that people engaging in creative writing yet adamantly claiming it as real experiences does *not* help any situation."

I won't argue with that. Sorry if it seems like that's what I'm doing.

"It doesn't help poly, it doesn't do anything good unless you think confusion is good."

Nope; confusion sucks.

"In fact I would appreciate if ignored me, and I will do the same."

I'll try to ignore you more than I have in the past. I'm fine with you ignoring or not ignoring me, whichever you think is best.


Re (from opalescent):
"Please don't apologize to me!"

Heh ... it's just that I feel so apologetic about feeling so apologetic ... :)

"I guess what didn't come through in my short post is that you didn't do anything wrong. Yes, I believe not feeding the crazy is a good strategy to maintain one's own sanity."

Eh; I'm feeling mostly sane these days. Probably partly thanks to Zyprexa, but also thanks to those good folks here who help remind me that I'm not crazy (or at least not *too* crazy).

I don't mind agreeing to disagree but I still feel at least slightly bad about posting that four-post post. Not completely bad, though; as I've reviewed it several times I've realized it sounds remarkably sane, even if the choice to respond to Dirtclustit at all remains dubious.

And while I'm guilty of responding to Dirtclustit yet again (in defiance of his own wishes I fear), do note that I'm trying to contain the size of my verbiage a bit more. I can haz partial credit, yes? and hopefully I can slowly but surely gracefully back out of any convo at all with Dirtclustit, kind of like I'd slowly back away from a raging grizzly bear. :eek:

Anyway, we're still friends, right? Friends? Pinky handshake? Yes yes?

Re (from opalescent):

Heh ... it's just that I feel so apologetic about feeling so apologetic ... :)


I don't mind agreeing to disagree but I still feel at least slightly bad about posting that four-post post. Not completely bad, though; as I've reviewed it several times I've realized it sounds remarkably sane, even if the choice to respond to Dirtclustit at all remains dubious...

Anyway, we're still friends, right? Friends? Pinky handshake? Yes yes?


*opalescent pinky swears friends with Kevin* A pinky swear friendship is srs bidness among my people!


London, if I may paraphrase you, there's a WHOLE LOTTA cray cray going on.

LR, I really need to dig into your posts (and may just PM you for your FB info), since I really, REALLY dig the psych stuff (would have minored in it as an undergrad, but didn't have the cash to stay an extra semester). Our brains do pattern match as a matter of course, whether it's to categorize things, people, emotions, feelings, or physical/perceptual/cognitive patterns as well. I always enjoyed that from the mathematical/logical perspective, and would have loved to have dug into the psych persepective more.

CW, I'm glad to see your response to LR. I stopped engaging you a while back when you clamored for understanding yet refused to offer the same - you seemed to want more of a soapbox than a dialog, and I was through talking to a brick wall that yelled back. I hope you take LR's and Kevin's comments to heart.

Kevin... As far as your original question, waaaay back when, I do have to agree that it's all individual. I have a Haitian friend who HATES being called African American. Then again, he refers to himself as an "Island Boy" and he gets all smirky when he does. It's kinda funny. If I screw up and say the wrong thing, I will apologize and try to not repeat my faux pas. If someone's going to hold it against me, then I will still do my best to not repeat my screw-up, but I will tend to think they have a bug up their ass and not want to engage them again anyway. Life goes on.

Those who want to be persecuted (and that's not just racially), despite other peoples' best intentions, will feel persecuted. I can bend over backwards and still be unable to please them. Their choice to remain in the hole they've dug for themselves. (I'm not talking about those who truly are persecuted, if that isn't clear).

Blah. Back to work. It's really telling when I'm taking a break on writing personnel reviews in order to reply here. ;)