No respect left for Progressive Minds

I’ve written before about the fact that the Progressive Minds blog has begun showing signs of significant bias.  Despite their rules being stated as follows, I’ve noted that my posts are moderated and were often rejected though I only strived to make valid well thought out conversation points and did not violate any of their stated rules.

Blog Rules

The purpose of this site is to promote critical thinking, constructive dialogue and progressive solutions on issues which affect Bermuda and Bermudians. To accomplish this we encourage
1. The use of repsectful language
2. Respect for individuals, particularly blog members and members of the community

We will not tolerate:
1. Name calling
2. Profanity
3. Racial slurs
4. Personal attacks

Failure to comply may result in your removal from this blog.

Progressive minds blogger Vanz Chapman however has become notorious among the progressive minds blog readers I speak to as someone who can post unmoderated comments and often makes very racist, offensive and rediculous remarks such as “Why has limey and his cracker brigade infected the PLP blog” in June (though later modified to remove the work cracker) and now the following:

“something that most bdans have come to expect from the RG. but go ahead, do your thing. but considering that christian “hitler” dunleavy writes for the RG and who’s whole body of work both for his site and the RG seems to be one long angry white guy rant about how much he hates the bulk of black bda”  (emphasis added)

If that doesn’t classify as name calling, a personal attack and quite possibly a racial slur than I really don’t know what does.

I have officially lost all respect for the youth wing of the PLP and by that regard I have lost respect for the PLP itself for allowing such hypocrisy to occur.

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29 thoughts on “No respect left for Progressive Minds

  1. I see Vanz’s comment has now been removed.
    Given the number of his comments that the admins have had to delete or edit I am baffled by why he is allowed to post comments unmoderated while reasonable posters such as you and I (who have never had to have our comments edited for personal attacks) are on the moderation list.
    Progressive Minds had – and arguably still has – potential as a blog where folks could go to read interesting, well-thought-out arguments in support of the PLP’s actions and ideas (even if they disagreed with them). Alas, many posts demonstrate anything but the “critical thinking, constructive dialogue and progressive solutions” that the site’s administrators claim to want to promote. If they sincerely want to achieve that they will have to look past the party allegiance of their contributors and instead moderate based on what those people have to say.

  2. Hi Denis! I can only infrequently access the PM site, so I admit that my info is not quite up to date. I cannot offer any reasons for if and why Vanz’s comments are generally not as moderated as much as others. I can say that policing blogs can be quite taxing, and as there is only one (maybe two) people with that ability over at PM, some comments can be posted for some time before being dealt with. True, post moderation could be used in this regards, and I can offer no reason why this is not the case. It must be stressed again however that not all posts on the PM site are neccessarily PM posts; anyone, including UBPers are free to post there, as well as agent provacuteurs, and those who may be on the fanatic fringe of the movement (including myself!).
    In particular reference to the quote from Vanz in question, there may be those who would accuse you of hypocrisy on this score though. There is a poster ‘Sal’ who appears to be some sort of far-right poster who occasionally posts on your (and New Onions) blog (he does indeed have his own rather humorous site), and much of his comments could be seen as a bizarro form of Vanz. In fact, does he not refer to Dr. Brown as Ewart ‘harry neuton’ Brown? Apart from Dr. Brown’s politics being quite far removed from the progressive politics of Newton, is this not kind of equivalent to a Christian ‘hitler’ Dunleavy? Just wondering.

  3. Jonathan,
    My quam with the PM site is that my posts have been moderated to the point where they were not published despite adhering to the stated rules while there have been numerous occasions where Vanz has had freedom to post without moderation despite constantly violating the rules and offending a great many people.
    I don’t even necessarily disagree with what he has to say, but it’s the way he says it that is the problem.
    Specifically I became very annoyed when someone personally requested a response from me and I spent a great deal of time crafting it only to have it never appear due to being assumedly rejected by the moderators.
    I may not agree with everything Sal has to say but I give him the right to voice his opinion as long as he stays within reason. At the time, I did not see the Huey Newton as a defamatory reference as I don’t know a great deal about him more than the basics.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huey_P._Newton
    I hardly equate the life and actions of an inspirational black leader who co-founded the Black Panther party who was exhonorated due to circumstancial evidence to that of a man responsible for the racially motivated systematic elimination of millions of people in horribly brutesque ways that will go down in history as one of the lowest points of humanity, do you?
    Perhaps I should have been outraged at the reference to a man who is supposed to have championed free breakfasts for underpriveledged black children?
    Just because I don’t necessarily agree with Sal’s views does that mean I should automatically not allow him to comment on my site?

  4. Hi Denis, thats cool. I actually quite like what Huey Newton stood for, I wasn’t attacking him at all. Nor do I think Christian is anything close to Hitler, I jsut wanted to make that clear. I can understand your frustration concerning the PM site. I will investigate, but quite honestly I don’t know what to tell you. If your comments were within the guidelines then there is absolutely no reason why your posts should not have a ppeared, and I concur that Vanz’s style is the key problem and also wonder why he has been able to post unchecked while others have been obstructed.
    Just back to the Newton thing, Sal does indeed view Newton’s ideas to be quite negative, and does use that in a defamatory way to imply that Dr. Brown is a rabid black militant/supremacist. That Huey wasn’t that but more of a radical socialist doesn’t matter, and sure, Sal would be better using Idi Amin or Mugabe for his defamtion, but that is neither here nor there. I only saw his use as equally defamotory to what Vanz had attempted to do (portray Christian as a white supremacist fascist).
    Mat, how does this show that the PLP is close minded? It may show that certain elements within the Party are authoritarian but this does not mean that the entire Party is. Perhaps you will say I am splitting hairs, but it is quite important to use proper definitions here. Many will try to portray the enitre PLP as supporting the ideology espoused by say Vanz, just as some PLPers will try to interpret that Christian speaks for the entire UBP. This is false. Some PLPers may even attack the lack of comments or blogs on Christians or the UBP’s site to mean that they are afraid of criticism. IS this true? I don’t know.

  5. I read PM for a while, but it seems like its the same 4 guys giving the same rant over, and over, and over…and over.
    There is a clear bias in administering the rules, but is the double standard really that surprising? Still wrong, but not surprising.
    I also got sick of clicking on what was supposed to be links to the latest comment only to be directed to the same post attacking the UBP every time. Perhaps a glitch, perhaps not.
    When you factor all that in with the uber-partisanship I tune out. I like to know what others are thinking, but have a low tolerance for propaganda.

  6. I think it might be important to remember that Vanz Chapman’s mother is a significant player in the PLP hierarchy.
    Perhaps the powers that be behind Progressive Minds are worried that any attempts to moderate her son’s rantings (no matter how offensive, foul mouthed, misguided and down-right disgusting) would be immediately met with her displeasure … no matter how warranted.
    Makes you wonder if the youth wing, who initially promoted this blog, are in fact incapable of acting independently of the party mother ship.
    I note that 82% of the posters on the site (and those choosing to participate in the poll) are under the age of 30. They may therefore still be a little green behind the ears (as evidenced by their posting track records) and in the absence of sufficient life experience not yet possess or have properly developed the tools necessary to understand and express their own perspective, political and/or social point of view.
    This knowledge vacuum has in turn prompted them to moderate all non-like minded posters given their (current) inability to engage in meaningful exchanges … even those which comply with their own blog rules of decency.
    Quite sad really … being unwilling (or intellectually unable) to participate in a constructive dialogue certainly does not bode well for them should they ever want to enter the political main fray (Lord help us if any of them already there).

  7. it’s interesting that only white posters go into a hissy fit over my posts while many blk posters e-mail me their support-perhaps the problem is that many of u are completely outta touch w/what many blk bdans feel. and if dunleavy can compare brown to mugabe why can’t i compare him to hitler – they’re both racists.

  8. The Future of the UBP
    why is it when a plp supporter expresses support for their party or directs well articulated criticism to it’s opponents it’s said to be vicious and angry and venomous – while these same critics of the plp, particularly of dr. brown, feel that they can be as nasty as they want without the bat of an eye.
    i believe that many white bermudians want to be fair in their attempts to coexist with all the ethnicities of bermuda, but i feel as if there is still a hard-headed faction of white bermuda who hate that they don’t run the show politically anymore – they feel that this British colony was created for them and that the black population are lucky to be here.
    i’ve seen the same thing in south africa where the white settlers built an amazing country as far as the infrastructure but paid no attention to the “humanity” structure of the country – thus it was doomed to failure from the beginning. like bermuda there is a hard line faction in south africa who feel that they built this country and it is theirs, and that the african population is just incidental. they hate that places like yeoville and downtown jo’burgh has been over run by those same people who they had stuck in townships for decades. i see hints of this in bermuda.
    to think that dr. brown who has done nothing but act on behalf of fairness and equality whether through his youthful political action in bermuda or through his clinic in the US. is accused of being out for self is absurd. who did michael dunkley speak up for in his youth?
    it took 10 years for the national party (apartheid party) in south africa to disappear after it lost to the anc in the 90s – first it renamed itself the new NP to separate it from it’s past, then it joined the anc, then it dissolved itself – that a party that had been around for so long to just disappear so quickly is a testament to the fact that if your foundation is one of inequality and oppression – it will not last in the long run i see the same fate for the ubp – it’s coming up on 10 years for them now and we see it crumbling before our very eyes – the plp however like most labour parties is built on a solid philosophy and like the anc it will weather it’s growing pains and prevail.

  9. Denis
    PM reps have invited me to post on their site but have never given me a password – my latest attempt was about one week ago.
    As for Mr Chapman, his latest post is a mere re-hash of an RG letter from a while back.
    It seems to me the posters on that site have a lot of anger!

  10. Vanz,
    Not sure who specifically you are referring to above, but I would like to be clear that I am a Bermudian of mixed racial decent.
    As for Christian Dunleavey’s apparent references to Brown as Mugabe, I have zero control over that. Christian is free to say what he likes on his blog and I am unable to comment aside from doing so via my own blog. If Christian choses to make racist references, then that makes him a racist. If you choose to use him as a justification of why you can be racist as well, well I’m sorry but that doesn’t make you any less of a racist. You shouldn’t sink to the low standards set by others and should lead by example by setting standards for yourself as high as you can. People will respect you for it.
    My issue with Progressive Minds is that it says it is open to constructive views and yet blocks/moderates my posts that stay within the rules (though take a counter-facing argument) while allowing your posts, some of them blatently racist, to go unmoderated, often to be withdrawn or edited after having offended quite a few people.
    You have the freedom to say whatever you like on your own personal blog, that is freedom of expression. Noone stops you from creating your own and frankly I would applaud it. I believe you have a great deal to contribute when you do so constructively.
    My limited understanding of Michael Dunkley’s history is that he spoke up for his family at a young age and has only now been afforded the opportunity to do it for the larger community. His father died at a young age and he was forced into taking over the family business or watch it perish. He did not have the same opportunities as Premier Brown has had so to make such a comparison is unjust.
    I also hope you do not predisposition me as a UBP supporter for that I am not. I hold out very little hope that the UBP could manage our country any better than the PLP is doing at present. Quite frankly I am disgusted with the prospects of both parties and I hope to see both of them crumble to erase our racially based legacy that has a stranglehold on Bermudians addressing the real issues. Though I hold little faith that this will happen any time soon.
    The PLP may indeed have been built on a solid philosophy, but I, like many others who supported the party in the past, have the feeling that it has drifted away from it’s core values and it no longer clearly represents it’s foundation. Far too often our politicians have focused on themselves long before assisting the disadvantaged Bermudian.
    If I may also add, often times I enjoy your input. You can be insightful and quite intelligent at times. But at others, you all too often get down the road of making a great point, then ruin it by going off on a racially based tirade.
    It would be best if you could stick to constructive thoughts and opinions and refrain from attacking people. If you could do so, you would garner a great deal of respect from others in the community.
    Denis

  11. MMF,
    Personally I have opted to no longer post my comments on the Progressive Minds site and instead will post anything I have to say via my own blog.
    If you have had difficulties I would highly recommend that you start your own blog and offer your comments via it. I would be happy to add/link to them to get a bit of traffic going your way if you send me a link.
    Denis

  12. vance is a notorious liar who has written by far the most racist things ever read on most bermuda websites. he is totally discredited as a bigot. like my 2 year old he is best ignored when he throws his little lying tantrums.

  13. pls disregard the previous post as it got jumbled:
    great even handed post pitcher – i should have used ubp supporters instead of white -pls excuse that – i do however take issue w/this statement “He did not have the same opportunities as Premier Brown has had so to make such a comparison is unjust.” pls go back and find out how after dr.brown grad’d from med school – the racist white med industry here prevented him from coming back here to practice because of his pro blk views – dunkley on the other hand had all the beneifits that many white biz owners had back in the day -loans etc. – so pls don’t think that because his dad died when he was young that he had some sort of sharecropper upbringing-dr.brown has had to fight the system from a very early age whereas dunkley had the system fighting for him -how do u think that in a country with such a rich tradition of blk farmers that the only dairy on the island is owned by a white guy? did he work harder than those blk farmers or did he have the advantage of race? think about it. and pls tell that reader to stop projecting his white rage onto blk bda – like the white woman said in the RG 2day ”
    Dear Sir,
    “The racial situation on the island is the worst I can ever remember”, “white people are angry””
    enuff said.
    and as far as pm being careful-understand that historically the media has been anti plp -even anti blk for decades -so of course with the advent of desktop media like the web – the plp now can get their msg out to it’s members regardless of the racist RG and MO-so yes they have a right to control what little media access they have considering how they’ve been screwed by the mainstream media in this country

  14. to the truth re: “vance is a notorious liar who has written by far the most racist things ever read on most bermuda websites. he is totally discredited as a bigot”
    so sad that u choose to stick ur head in the sand and not recognize what’s really going on in bda- u r like those sad angry,confused slave owners who even as slavery was being dismantled continued to believe that slavery was a good thing and that their slaves were actually happy. outside of that tiny social bubble that u and ur lot live in, bda has changed – 2bad no one told u. ;-0

  15. that you read that into my comment shows how foolish you are. what you are unaware of is that your own plp members privately laugh at you. they are using you. they mock you. they egg you on but mock you privately. they will let you go as long as you want because you have no idea how idiotic you look and what an island-wide punchline you have become for the mindless rabid racists. you say things that they know no reputable person could say but they are happy to have said. untrue as they may be.

  16. dear sweeety truth, u angry bit*h huh? i sense a lotta frustration wow – to see bda change really must be getting to u or did u get punked by some blk guy- which one is it? – but okay – i’ll play -racists make me smile – now 1st, considering i haven’t lived full time in bda since the 80s i don’t know exactly what i could be used 4 – 2nd you are not down with any plpers of consequence who would share anything w/ u, 3rdly – u know it’s really only us nerds who are even mildly aware of the cyber war of words that goes on daily – hardly island wide. and finally – is that your neck getting red? chill out brother – -it’s only wordz. but u better get goin’,you probably need to get to one of those secret meetings where they “mock me privately” – u r funny

  17. angry? not at all. i would find you entertaining if your comments weren’t so full of hate. you are the equivalent of a circus side show. yes they use you. yes they mock you. yes they email you in support. guess what? they know you will say anything so they let you. you are a joke. beyond the websites. you are completely out of touch and in another era. the rest of us move forward together. you shadow box an imaginary opponent. they are using you. you are too ignorant to see what the rest of us do.

  18. on 2nd thought “truth” u r right – i had suspected that i was being used but now i know it. i’ve been wrong all this time – and people like dunleavy et al were right all along. i guess we’ll be seeing the ubp in power next election. good luck on everything.

  19. Ok. I don’t want to see my blog becomming a place that I have to police daily so I’d like to remind each of you that I do not appreciate any arguements or personal attacks and will accept none further.
    Nothing but constructive & substanciated discussion from here on in.

  20. you’re the boss here denis. chapman has ruined too many websites on this island and i for one and bored with his act, his character attacks and the lies. he is so blinded with hate that he is oblivious to how his party are using him as their online pitbull. much to the amusement of the crew in alaska hall and on front street i might add. bedtime for this guy.

  21. Vanz,
    Regarding your issue with my statement that: “[Michael Dunkley] did not have the same opportunities as Premier Brown has had so to make such a comparison is unjust.”
    This was in the context of your question: “who did michael dunkley speak up for in his youth?”
    Regarding later years I will not contest Premier Brown’s difficulties as a black doctor for I have no knowledge of the situation and thus am not at liberty to speak on the subject.
    Unfortunately I do have my doubts as to whether or not the PLP have been at the helm of similar injustices as I have heard tell of such. I still find it hard to accept that we cannot achieve leadership that is without such travesty and thus still hold out hope.
    In the very least Premier Brown has overcome many difficulties in his own life to rise to the position he has attained. My hope is that he will leave a legacy of having used this time and his position to ensure Bermudians no longer have to face such injustices and having done all that he can for what is in the best interests of our people.
    Denis

  22. The truth,
    I would prefer if you did not continue to repeat the same arguement.
    Your opening arguement was one that was non-constructive that unfortunately accomplished little.
    If Vanz indeed is discredited and best ignored, than why bother adding to the discussion? Are you not then ignoring your own advice and only adding fuel to the fire?
    I welcome your contributions if you’d like to discuss something of merit. Hell, feel free to disagree with me on any of the issues or ideas I’ve written, I’d welcome the opportunity to defend my ideas as it helps make them stronger and am always up for a good discussion.
    Denis

  23. most importantly, i’d like apologise to pitcher because like me he is bi-cultural and that he has actually been even keeled during this recent volley-and even the limey, whom i think is phill wells, he offered some fair observations – and to the white bdans who r not racist but who feel that i’ve painted all whites as Racist – i sincerely apologize for that. i flew into bda today and hope 2be surprised by the improved race relations that u all tell me about. is there a bar i can go to to see the multiracial mix that i hear bda can also be about in places? let me know cause i’d like 2 hit a couple of these. and i mean it, i hear it’s docksiders but is that passe now? cock& feather?

  24. Apologies are great things Vanz.
    I read the post on PM that you copy/pasted from and I’m curious as to why you left out the part where you called ‘the truth’ a “Crusty Old Racist Cracker”…
    This brings to mind a few questions that you might answer…
    1)Why did you write it on PM and not on 21sq?
    Was it due to the tolerance level of either site, or did you think that it would be less offensive/not offensive at PM?
    2)What made you write it at all?
    I have read all that ‘the truth’ said above and do not see any racial language. I don’t see where he disclosed his own age or physical conditioning (crusty?). I do see that he specifically attacked you Vanz, and called you racist… but does that make him racist?

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