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Furries of color take the mask off in times of American unrest over systemic racial biases

Edited by GreenReaper as of Mon 8 Jun 2020 - 02:05
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Furries of past connected mostly via the internet behind avatars and characters of varying species. In chat rooms they would engage in discussion and role play. However, many folks of color found opportunity through being through a world where interaction was through text and art alone. That if they did not discuss or indicate their race then they could see the world in a whole new way. They could finally escape their skin and put on a new one here.

However, no one can live on the internet alone. A systemically racial bias in justice systems throughout America came to a head, once again, in the death of George Floyd, a black citizen of Minneapolis. The cruelty of this death was of grueling note as video was released of Officer Chauvin knelled down on his neck for many minutes until Mr. Floyd stopped breathing.

President Trump responded to the situation with fiery statements, one using a phrase "when the looting starts the shooting starts", an excessive display of senselessly violent rhetoric in response to protest of a crime that had involved excessive use of force by law enforcement. This in combination with an oddity to invoking the soul of the victim and claim he speaks for his life in several circumstances, it has spurred protests around police tactics and brutality. Many of these protests spurring additional incidents highlighting the issue, like an elderly white man being shoved and cracking his skull into the pavement by Buffalo, NY police officers.

Calls to look into criminal justice reform have boiled over and are sure to continue for the remaining time of this Presidential Term.

The aggressive posturing by the head of the U.S. Executive Branch, and police response has galvanized furries of color to reveal to their furry family the color of the skin behind the avatar on their social media accounts with #UnderneathTheFursona. In a stance to show that the diversity of the fandom is more than just sexual expression, but of coming to understand or provide relief from oppressive systems that harm our fans. That these issues impact directly some of your favorite content creators.


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Improving our system of justice and curtailing the abuses of our executive branch organizations that enforce the laws through meaningful and actual reform is essential to all Americans.

Black Americans make up 12.6% of the population but are victims of 32.4% of Law Intervention Homicides, and are a majority percentage of these deaths.

When people of all races say that Black Lives Matter, it is in effect a demand to bring down the number of these homicides in general. This situation has highlighted that the abuses of those in authority in general can create injustices with no body count. False escalation, evidence planting, kettling, and the worst case with the President pressing through LaFayette Square and pressing through protesters with gas and excessive force to hold a Bible upside down in front of a church (effectively claiming his First Amendment Rights as President outweigh those of American Citizens).

These situations have shown that if we continue to ignore it when corruption happens with black lives, this corruption will grow and impact more people from all walks of life. Even those that claim to feel safe now.

A system of accountability must be implemented by those in political office, for this systemic failure of leadership is what leads to confrontations. But the leaders will blame the police they put on the front lines with the weapons and training they gave them while walking with the protesters, or will call the protesters thugs for damaging property while hiding in their offices behind the officers, unwilling to engage with the grievances being brought up.

The buck needs to stop with the politicians who are supposed to keep law and order through their own actions and words, they have passed the blame for too long and need to be brought into the spotlight as well.

Black Lives are Beautiful, and I am glad their are a part of this fandom. Thank you for sharing your stories, let us continue to make progress and support one another in the roles that we can.

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There is a system of accountability for political offices in a democracy. If people are not happy they are supposed to vote for a better leader, whether that's locally or nationally. There's also the opportunity for people to run for those offices themselves if they feel like no one is dealing with problems.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Okay, so lets say a cop beats the shit out of you, who do you call Rakuen?

I can say, as a white person I don't know that off the top of my head. But I sure know the YouTube copyright system, because despite how simple it is after having been evolved over time, white YouTubers sure do complain about having to even use it.

We are assuming the communities of color have not been showing up to town hall meetings (psst, they have) to redress these issues democratically. We assume that because we live our lives without concerning ourselves with it. Which to me is evidence that white people are not, or do not feel as abused, by the police as colored people do. If they did we would have shown up at those town hall meetings too to try and get redresses made and knew they were doing their best efforts to try and redress the system. Perhaps we should more often to fill the room even if we were never wronged ourselves. Offer solutions that our leaders don't seem to be able to.

The politicians, as I noted, failed to listen. And when words fail to reach and death results, you cannot be surprised when the reaction is angry and maybe even violent in turn. The British didn't listen, Americans Dumped Tea, British responded with guns and occupation, Americans respond with Tar and Feathering. These escalations are not black and white, they are human.

The problem with relying on politicians too much in these regards is that police protect those politicians too, this can make those leaders scared to redress changes in an organization who they rely on to protect their life.

Why do you think politicians put so much money into those organizations? They are their strongmen. If they don't they will seek to overthrow them as well through their own redresses. That could be at the voting booth or by going "Opps, didn't see that guy with the knife there, too bad you got stabbed. Should fund us more so it don't happen again."

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I'm not sure I quite understand your post. There is no assumption that black people have not been showing up to town hall meetings. But since those politicians are still in power, clearly not enough people have shown up or voted. Or at least not enough people who share their views. Indeed, I agree that it shows that white people in the US haven't cared so much or at least not in the numbers that would make a change. There's been a massive failure of compassion in the country.

I'm not sure it's right to say that the politicians failed to listen. I think more of the problem is that there is not widespread agreement. If you remember Trump got elected saying all sorts of racist things. And when the people had a chance to say something about it, they said they were okay with that. (Yes, that's a simplification. Popular vote and a close election etc.) I don't think it's that politicians aren't listening, they are listening and they think the majority are saying something different. Or at least the ones that fund them and they feel they need to keep power.

I think it's a mix of problems with the system and the problem that many people in the US don't see all races as equal.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Because based on scientific studies in the United States races are not treated equally, and therefore are not equal.

They hand out those PhDs like candy these days don't they?

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Seriously, I don't even see how you could possibly think that is even close what I said.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I misread the last sentence, my apologies.

I read it as "People in the US would just calm down if they saw that the races ARE [treated] equal", not as in "The US institutions and persons don't see the races as equal which causes the problem."

Honestly, the goal should be that all races will prosper, not just be 'equal'. I mean when Trump stood on the mound and said "it's a great day for equality" my though was, 'yeah both blacks and whites are getting beat when protesting'.

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The Youtube algorithm kicked up an old video which I think shows some of what I'm talking about. It was when John McCain was running against Obama to be president of the US. McCain is at a rally and talking to people. He disagreed with some supporters and said that actually Obama is a decent man. Then the people at the rally booed him. I think some politicians listened to that (metaphorically speaking) and that is what they are responding to.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I don't live far from Minneapolis.

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This is also an opinion piece. Does this site have some kind of sorting or tags?

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It does (and I think you know that) but for some reason, Sonious's last two pieces lacked them entirely.

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My comment below the piece was opinion. Which part of the article do you believe is a statement of opinion?

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Well, for a start, "no one can live on the internet alone". :-)

More generally, the piece doesn't currently have any tags. A post should always have some topics, and therefore should always have tags. (Ideally we'd have them for the In-Fur-Nation syndicated posts too, as otherwise they don't show up in tag lists.)

Edit: I've added police and politics. There are some now that I didn't add, but the addition box seems to collapse the revision history to only the last keyword editor. (This is, incidentally, how people end up with editor credit without actually being editors.)

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Oh god that would be a very long task, Rod O'Riley has been publishing almost daily for over a decade!

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I did it for a lot of them for a while! It's possible to do several in a minute if you open them in tabs.

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Claims of what is and isn't "excessive" are matters of opinion. To a lesser extent so would characterising the response as aggressive be an opinion. Possibly also the description of cruelty although it does seem like an apt description.

There's nothing wrong with writing an opinion piece though. In this particularly case, it's not very well written with several sentences fractured and not making sense.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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In what world view is asphyxiating a man for nine minutes not excessive?

If a man were to post a video them strangling a dog for nine minutes I guess would not say that is excessively violent and cruel to the dog?

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Judging by the fact that it happens and there are now widespread protests and conflicts about it instead of unanimous action to prevent it happening again, it's not excessive to many people in the US. There are a lot of people that feel you should always do whatever the police say and that they can use whatever force they deem necessary to get people to comply. I think that mindset is also quite evident by how the police in the US have become militarised and how the death penalty is still a thing there.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I just want to point out that they put down dogs with much shorter criminal records.

Are you sure you want to compare that guy to a dog?

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I'm saying that furries sometimes care for animal more than humans, and thus was using that as an empathy point.

I know that's not the case for most of humanity who does favor itself.

For a man that says the left likes to play gotcha games with race, you sure like to do that yourself.

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Well, probably the police officer's view, for a start. More generally, given the public response, it seems not everyone agrees. The same is true of the "excessive display of senselessly violent rhetoric" earlier in the paragraph. They are statements of opinion about the actions of others; and as they aren't attributed to an individual or group (or a court judgement, etc.), they must be assumed to be your opinion.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Mike actually disagrees with your opinion, while Rakuen and I just think it should be classified as opinion.

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I disagree with his personal opinion. But in the context of a journalistic site on furry news, I think it's much more important that opinions be classified as such, rather than them being right or wrong. Especially if they're not related to animal anthropomorphics.

Other than that I don't have much to offer, as I think this is fundamentally the wrong medium in which to have this kind of discussion. Having furries make a hashtag #In-Support/Opposition-of-Whatever-Current-Political-Event-Is-Going-On is not furry in any meaningful way.

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What makes it more important for a furry site to classify its contributor-written stories as opinions than sites where the journalism actually matters?

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I'm old-fashioned in that I like to read news reports that attempt to stay unbiased, present all relevant information, and let the reader decide whether what's told is good or bad. Wiki: "While various [journalistic] codes may have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, and public accountability..."

Opinion pieces are also valid journalism but they're of a different nature and are always marked as such in newspapers.

I understand other outlets use different journalistic standards and journalism has gone down the drain in the last couple of years, but I like to think Flayrah keeps high standards, which so far I think it has done.

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There are in essence two definitions of furry:

1) The Content

2) The Fans

We've always been sure to do some of both on this site. We even had a blurb here on 9/11 (back when we didn't do full pieces) which had nothing to do with furry in a content or furry community sense.

No one has done a Beastars review as of yet, don't tempt me man, you think this article is political.

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Okay, first of all, you totally did bury the lede in this story; the fucking hashtag the story is ostensibly about doesn't come up until the last paragraph. As written, this article is "I'm going to mention furries in the first paragraph, then talk about something that is happening in the world without really making a good, concrete correction; when I get around to it, I guess I will finally (literally finally) get around to connecting the dots". And to be fair, I mean, you look at my last piece, I spend an inordinate amount of my wordcount explaining what the fuck a Doctor Who: Lockdown is before I get to the actual furry point of the article, but in my article's defense, more people are probably aware of Black Lives Matter protests than "cult TV fandom's corona-virus thing" (or at least I goddamn hope so).

Now, second of all, as a point of, uh, "ally-ship", you maybe could've linked up or even quoted a few examples of use of the hashtag? Maybe? You know, the point of the hashtag is to allow the voices of furry POCs to be heard; as it stands, this article isn't actually amplifying those voices very well. To be fair, again, on my Twitter feed, I've only seen one use of this hashtag, so I'm what we like to call "part of the problem". Because I am so insulated from the lives of POCs, I didn't even realize the hashtag was for POCs and about the only thing that kept me doing it myself was that basically I don't really have fursona, not because I realized it wasn't for me. So, this article did fulfill it's purpose of informing me of the hashtag's purpose, whatever critiques I can make about whatever.

Now, third of all, Mike Retriever is a fucking idiot who is the worst kind of fucking idiot; a fucking idiot who think's he's being smart. His objection to this article is ideological; I mean, he's going to deny it, but fucking Christ. However, kind of like the #AllLivesMatter hashtag, which is obviously technically correct, he's using the "is this opinion or is this news?" objection (which is technically a valid objection) to try and de-emphasize the real issues here (notice how we're 20 something comments into a comment section about protests and nobody's actually talking about fucking protests). A fucking bullshit tactic that would not work if you'd, perhaps, run this by, say, Green Reaper or dronon or (once again) a person of color, and maybe some of these issues would have gotten caught. And, while I'm here, Rakuen, we've had conversations before about how you sometimes worry me that you're going to fall in with the far right fringe of the fandom, and you were aghast that I would ever think that. Well, I mean, the way you instantly and predictably went right along with the known far right instigator's obvious ploy in the comment section is exactly what I'm talking about. Also, Green Reaper, I'm less worried about you going alt-right, but, I mean, come on. You fell for Mike's really obvious crap hook, line and sinker.

Finally (I know, right), recent events at the New York Times have shown ... something. I guess what, exactly is also a matter of opinion, but, in my opinion it showed that newsrooms are full of dissent and bickering and that's okay. Sonious is obviously and publicly a bit miffed about Green Reaper adding the opinion tag to this article and that's also okay. It's maybe good to get all this crap off our chest, you know? At very least, it would be hypocritical of me to chastise someone for shouting at Green Reaper.

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To clarify: I didn't add the opinion tag. It looks like I did in the revision history because the on-page tag entry box doesn't make a new revision, but replaces the last one with one containing the new content and attributes all edits since the last full revision to them (just as if you edited the story manually to add them and saved without the "new revision" option checked).

That said, I agree with it being there, so I guess the result is the same. Labeling opinion pieces as such (and press releases, satire, etc.) is a requirement of Google News membership, which is why our submission guidelines call it out as a "must". Other, more famous news publications might get away with skirting the requirements, though I suspect they are also pretty good at it.

As for falling for anything: Mike was technically correct, which as we all know is the best kind of correct.

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Okay, if it ended up that Mike himself added the tag (because, actually, anyone can, right? I still can, anyway.) and we're all shouting at each other because of that, I mean, I will at least upgrade his status from "fucking idiot" to "fucking evil".

(He's also a brown-noser, by the way.)

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wtf how can you still edit people's stuff? greenreaper took my special powers away when i tweeted about them after having them for months

edit: nvm i actually can add tags

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Yeah, adding tags isn't an "editor" privilege. I don't even know if you need to be logged in, though I assume.

edit: That was easy to check; do need to be logged in.

edit edit: In all the recent discussions I've been reading lately about open and public talk about the journalistic process, there hasn't been much said about the discussion of the actual mechanics of websites and the journalists more or less admitting they don't know how to work the goddamn site, either.

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I don't like any sides and I don't care much for the whole allegiance to a particular group. (In fact I think the whole obsession with sides and identities is a major cause of problems in the world. Stop treating people like labels and treat them as individuals. Labels just make it too easy to dismiss someone as a leftist or far-right or communist or whatever.) Nearly every group has some good points and some bad ones. Take the good points from whoever and ignore the bad ones.

But more specifically as to the comments here, I've not been paying much attention to Flayrah of late. I haven't had much to say and there hasn't been much posted that has interested me. I came to this story through Sonious' Twitter where he had reiterated his question as to what was opinion, so I came to take a look at what was going on.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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It's too late now Rakuen, don't deny it, you've gone alt-right. Let the hate flow through you!

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"Okay, first of all, you totally did bury the lede in this story; the fucking hashtag the story is ostensibly about doesn't come up until the last paragraph"

That is a good point, I do have issues with doing that.

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