Keeping the Faith

With the massive march on Washington DC and the passage of S.B. 1070 in Arizona, immigrants in general, and a potential immigration reform bill specifically, have taken center stage in the American political debate.  But, buried within these political questions—Will an immigration bill come before a climate change bill? How will the debate affect voter turnout in November?—is a more fundamental, and far more important set of questions about who we are as a nation.  These questions—Do we rise and fall together? Do we remember the stories of how our own ancestors came to this country?—cannot be answered by facts or figures.  No, to answer these questions, we must turn to our values.

As a nation, we can embrace the value of being a welcoming community, or we can wall ourselves off from the rest of the world.  We can work with communities of new Americans to be sure that they have the tools to be healthy and productive members of society, or we can isolate them, ensuring that they will never be able to fulfill the very same dream that has brought people to this land from across the world since our founding.  We can talk to and about each other in a way that conveys mutual respect, or we can give into the darkest and cruelest back alleys of our minds.

Throughout the debate, we as a nation will be well-served by taking the high road, and remembering that the overwhelming majority of people who come to our country do so because they believe it will mean a better life for their children and their children’s children.  And, we should remember to lift up those among us who are joining us on the high road.  With that in mind, I would recommend Lisa Miller’s recent piece on the role that American Bishops of the Catholic Church have played in pushing for real immigration solutions that uphold our values and move us forward together.  In their advocacy, the Bishops have clearly dug deep into their institutional values and remembered Exodus 22:21, “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

The Ultimate Meta Diary.

(cross posted at Kickin it with CG and Clintonistas for Obama)

Okay - you know things are bad when you stop yourself in the midst of writing 2 diaries, one on Darfur and Electric Cars to write about trolls, MyDD and the latest round of GBCW diaries.

Seriously guys the only reason trolling and flaming is happening is because - you are participating!  Many incredible diaries go unnoticed because they - shall we say - have no flavour....

Not only are there McBloggers taking over, but also the Purity Trolls are out in full force - policing everyone's motives.  Stop the insanity!

The site owners and administrators have promised site updates and clearly this is an acknowledgment that there is some work necessary here.  That said - I want to nip this in the bud by proposing a few things...

1.  No more flame wars.
If a diary is particularly enticing make a personal commitment to only respond to another user who commented to whom's opinion your respect.  That way - even though the diary may be a 'turd sandwich' (thanks thepurplestuff) you may participate in elevating the discussion.

2.  Stop complaining about MyDD in your comments.  
If you are aggravated with the situation - email the admins.  And I mean - every time you see something 'trollish'

3.  Be intellectually honest.
There tends to be a double-standard applied here by many whereby opinions they share deserve respect and general politeness - whereas opinion's they don't share - deserve snarky and rude receptions.

4. Kindness is a very underrated value in the Blogosphere.
Some people's hate-spewed speech is shocking.  I cannot imagine many speaking to others this way in real life.  But guess what folks - this is real life.  A good general rule of thumb is speak as you would hope to be spoken to.

5. Contribute.
Hunting trolls or adding smart-ass commentary is not contributing - sorry.  Write diaries, think about your 'progressive' ideals - and suggest ways to applying it to better the world.

I think that's a good starting off point for ways in which to make our little community better and hope that you guys can share with me your suggestions and enthusiasm for making MyDD a better place.

Please excuse any grammar and typos - this one was done on the fly!

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