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BS: Multicultural Competence

wysiwyg 02 Jan 10 - 12:22 PM
Jack Campin 02 Jan 10 - 12:36 PM
CarolC 02 Jan 10 - 01:10 PM
Ebbie 02 Jan 10 - 01:12 PM
Bill D 02 Jan 10 - 01:23 PM
VirginiaTam 02 Jan 10 - 01:33 PM
artbrooks 02 Jan 10 - 01:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jan 10 - 01:47 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 02 Jan 10 - 01:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Jan 10 - 02:00 PM
catspaw49 02 Jan 10 - 02:30 PM
Amos 02 Jan 10 - 02:56 PM
catspaw49 02 Jan 10 - 03:07 PM
catspaw49 02 Jan 10 - 03:09 PM
Janie 02 Jan 10 - 03:18 PM
catspaw49 02 Jan 10 - 03:36 PM
freda underhill 02 Jan 10 - 08:46 PM
Janie 02 Jan 10 - 11:16 PM
Tug the Cox 03 Jan 10 - 01:00 PM
CarolC 03 Jan 10 - 01:16 PM
catspaw49 03 Jan 10 - 02:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jan 10 - 02:22 PM
gnu 03 Jan 10 - 02:43 PM
catspaw49 03 Jan 10 - 03:02 PM
wysiwyg 03 Jan 10 - 03:09 PM
robomatic 03 Jan 10 - 04:29 PM
Bonzo3legs 03 Jan 10 - 04:38 PM
olddude 03 Jan 10 - 04:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jan 10 - 06:04 PM
Acorn4 04 Jan 10 - 11:54 AM
Amos 04 Jan 10 - 12:02 PM
Azizi 05 Jan 10 - 08:04 AM
Charley Noble 05 Jan 10 - 08:38 AM
Ruth Archer 05 Jan 10 - 09:20 AM
John Hardly 05 Jan 10 - 09:39 AM
wysiwyg 05 Jan 10 - 11:57 AM
katlaughing 05 Jan 10 - 12:00 PM
wysiwyg 05 Jan 10 - 12:07 PM
katlaughing 05 Jan 10 - 05:44 PM
Stower 05 Jan 10 - 07:23 PM
akenaton 05 Jan 10 - 08:30 PM
Jack Campin 05 Jan 10 - 08:36 PM
Rowan 05 Jan 10 - 08:54 PM
Mrrzy 05 Jan 10 - 09:38 PM
M.Ted 05 Jan 10 - 10:01 PM
TIA 05 Jan 10 - 10:15 PM
GUEST,heric 05 Jan 10 - 10:23 PM
katlaughing 05 Jan 10 - 11:13 PM
freda underhill 06 Jan 10 - 02:18 AM
freda underhill 06 Jan 10 - 05:19 AM
akenaton 06 Jan 10 - 05:40 AM
akenaton 06 Jan 10 - 05:46 AM
Jack Campin 06 Jan 10 - 05:56 AM
Lighter 06 Jan 10 - 09:46 AM
Stower 06 Jan 10 - 12:03 PM
akenaton 06 Jan 10 - 01:14 PM
M.Ted 06 Jan 10 - 02:33 PM
mg 06 Jan 10 - 02:38 PM
akenaton 06 Jan 10 - 03:40 PM
Lighter 06 Jan 10 - 03:48 PM
Stower 06 Jan 10 - 04:43 PM
katlaughing 06 Jan 10 - 06:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jan 10 - 06:27 PM
akenaton 06 Jan 10 - 06:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jan 10 - 07:27 PM
GUEST, heric 06 Jan 10 - 08:23 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jan 10 - 12:45 AM
Bonzo3legs 07 Jan 10 - 04:53 AM
akenaton 07 Jan 10 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 07 Jan 10 - 11:58 AM
wysiwyg 07 Jan 10 - 12:48 PM
Jack Campin 07 Jan 10 - 01:39 PM
wysiwyg 07 Jan 10 - 01:50 PM
Desert Dancer 07 Jan 10 - 03:24 PM
Lighter 07 Jan 10 - 03:53 PM
Greg F. 07 Jan 10 - 04:21 PM
Jack Campin 07 Jan 10 - 04:52 PM
Lighter 07 Jan 10 - 05:08 PM
wysiwyg 07 Jan 10 - 05:47 PM
Jack Campin 07 Jan 10 - 07:09 PM
Rowan 07 Jan 10 - 07:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Jan 10 - 08:06 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jan 10 - 08:23 PM
M.Ted 07 Jan 10 - 08:36 PM
wysiwyg 07 Jan 10 - 10:17 PM
Desert Dancer 08 Jan 10 - 12:27 AM
GUEST,999 08 Jan 10 - 01:02 AM
Desert Dancer 08 Jan 10 - 01:13 AM
Desert Dancer 08 Jan 10 - 01:14 AM
GUEST,999 08 Jan 10 - 01:15 AM
GUEST,999 08 Jan 10 - 01:18 AM
freda underhill 08 Jan 10 - 05:33 AM
Jack Campin 08 Jan 10 - 06:49 AM
wysiwyg 09 Jan 10 - 10:21 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Jan 10 - 01:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jan 10 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,999 09 Jan 10 - 08:17 PM
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Subject: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 12:22 PM

I'm purposely NOT defining this term here, as I'm asking for a general survey-sort of response in connection with a Commission on which I serve-- it meets next week and I'll report on the responses, there.

1. Ever hear that term? What does it mean, to you?
2. How does it differ (in your experience) from the term "Political Correctness"?
3. Have a better idea? If so, what?



Anecdotal replies as useful as "votes." Say as much as you like-- it may shed just the light I'm seeking.


Thanks,

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 12:36 PM

To me it means "somebody fed their pet bureaucrats after midnight".

But why would our guesses be in any way relevant to anything? I might as well ask your opinion about what a zorblefluft is.

Why not ask the person who's using the term what it means to them?


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 01:10 PM

Never heard of the term before this thread. Because it has been juxtaposed with the term "political correctness" in one of the questions, I infer that it may be proposed as a more positive alternative to the term "political correctness". If so, while I think that's a nice thought, since it infers the opposite of itself (multicultural incompetence), it won't be taken as positive by those who currently use the term, "political correctness", and its use will be preaching to the choir.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 01:12 PM

If it doesn't mean the ability to move easily within various cultures I have no idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 01:23 PM

It sounds like a term invented by the same guy who gave us "sanitation engineer" for "janitor".

I did know someone many years ago who might have deserved the title of "Multiculturally Competent". He was 'white' but moved easily in black neighborhoods and Native American groups.
He once delighted a fellow from Africa by correctly guessing his tribe from his name & accent. He simply learned what was important TO other cultural groups and managed to converse in their frames of reference. When he went to work as a social worker in Alaska, he eventually was inducted as an honorary member of a clan.

I never met anyone else who did it on that scale.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 01:33 PM

Hopefully it is not this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: artbrooks
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 01:40 PM

I see "political correctness" as meaning doing something that some person/group thinks that some other person/group expects or desires, without ever bothering to ask that person/group. It is making sure that all ads for children's clothing includes male, female, "white", "black", asian origin, Hispanic and handicapped kids, even if the ad would be better if it had only one child. It includes inventing terms like "differentially abled" and "native American". Would "multicultural competency" be any better? Would it give the impression of being anything other than a new and different buzzword? I think not.

On the other hand, Jenn disagrees. She thinks the word implies a willingness to meet others halfway. For instance (her example), not serving ham on Good Friday to both your Christian and Jewish patients.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 01:47 PM

My understanding would be the same as Ebbie's.

But I don't like these terms and avoid them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 01:54 PM

"See the cat? See the cradle?"

"No damned cat! No damned cradle!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 02:00 PM

The terms are ugly, but the abilities and attitudes they presumably are intended to refer to are very valuable indeed.

I used to work with a Quaker, and a term he used seems to express it a lot better - "having a proper respect for persons". Basically it's about people not being pig ignorant and insensitive and recognising that we aren't all the same. And that is not something that can be taken for granted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 02:30 PM

Read Bill D. again about his friend............

Here's a person with interest and respect in other human beings, willing and happy to learn the things that entails......Culture, genetics, language, history, religion/folkways/mores, music, politics, and lots of other information plus a skill at listening and retaining what is heard.

How can you capture that in a two or three word phrase?   Good luck Susan...........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Amos
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 02:56 PM

I think it is a good and meaningful term, without further definition. It would mean the ability to deal with people from different cultures comeptently, acheiving desired ends without embarassing or alienating the participants. What's wrong with that? "Worldly". "savoir-faire" and other terms would serve as well.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 03:07 PM

Yeah Amos, but you're a fuckin' jackass living in the land of fruits and nuts and the constant temperature bleached out any gray matter and left you with less sense than an addlepated you armadillo with raisinlike nuts and a toothpick dick..........................


Spaw-Proud to Multiculturally Competent


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 03:09 PM

Skip the "you" before armadillo although you do resemble one.......

Spaw-Showing more "MC" and a lack of pruufreeding


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Janie
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 03:18 PM

It is a common term in human services and social work, and I am required to have annual training on some aspect of cross cultural competency. Used to be referred to as cultural sensitivity training. While the concept arose out of race relationships and discriminatory practices, both intended and unintended between Whites and African-Americans, it is now more inclusive. I've had cross cultural training on working with various hispanic nationalities, and southeast Asian populations. LGBT populations are often included.

It is certainly jargony sounding, but I don't know what would not be jargony sounding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 03:36 PM

Hi Janie........As I recall the basis of those began with those originally professional but quickly taken up by amateurs "Sensitivity Sessions" of the '60's. It may be that my own personal detest for the "two word" solutions stems back to those times and I can't get past shuddering, nauseating, disgust, that washes over me whenever a new "catch phrase" comes along. The process itself (the training) is generally very well done in this day and age......I attended some with Children's Services........ but to get me there I had to be hauled in kicking and screaming.

Amos was probably a trainer in the 60's................


Spaw-Who loves Amos and is having a grand time today with him


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: freda underhill
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 08:46 PM

Multiculturalism as a policy was introduced in Australia in 1973. The idea was borrowed from Canada, whichey developed a policy of multiculturalism to ensure a recognition of the right to cultural integrity for both French and Anglo Canadians.

In Australia multiculturalism replaced a previous racist immigration policy which expected migrants to lose their cultural identity on arrival and "assimilate" into the Anglo-Irish mainstream. It acknowledges that we are a society of many cultures (hence multiculturalism).

This policy was supported by the establishment of free government translation services, migrant resource centres and settlement programs and the formation of the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), a television station dedicated to reflecting the diversity of our society.

This policy is an essential response to the fact that around 44% of Australians have a parent born overseas, and that there is a strong pattern of intermarriage between Australians of different backgrounds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Janie
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 11:16 PM

Spaw, I once had to facilitate a cross cultural seminar between native Buckeyes and native Mountaineers. It started off pretty well, then I made the mistake of introducing cultural preferences regarding college football teams and brands of beer....as well the tendency of cars with Ohio license plates to stay in the left lane on the WV Turnpike while carefully never exceeding 50 mph....


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 01:00 PM

The term probably means that have bothered to learn at least the basics about the people you share your homeland and the wider world with. For instance, that not all brown-skinned asians come from Pakistan,that many Africans have University degrtees and have never lived in a jungle,and even that 'our' number system is arabic, and phonetics semitic.
   When we lived in Leicester the new school cook at my wife's school was asked by the Headmaster to make sure that there was a daily vegetarian choice available for the many Hindu pupils who practised vegetarianism.
The first day.... What's for lunch, cook?
Beef Stew.
Good....what about the vegetarian alternative.
Beef Curry.

She could have been described as having little multicultural competence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 01:16 PM

Sounds to me like her area of incompetence was the English language.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 02:05 PM

All true Janie.............We Ahians do try to keep the speed down as we overtake the WVa natives but if you wouldn't screw your license plates to the hips of the jackasses you ride, maybe they could run faster!


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 02:22 PM

Is it true that West Virginia roads were laid out by a drunken Hill William riding a blind mule?


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: gnu
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 02:43 PM

Most people are. It's the shit disturbers that make their living by stirring up shit that are the problem.

The only "racist" bone I have in my body is the one that is picked when I am told I am racist simply because I exist.

Now, let's get back to Amos. It's still snowing and blowing here and I hate you... you, warm, snug, smug, sunny son of a... oops... gun..... there... that's not PI.

Spaw... I love A too, but sometimes.... I'd like to make one of those really light snowballs that are as hard as ice and wind up like Sandy and just fuckin break a shoulder throwin it right above his knee from about 30 feet away.

Stressed out from the constant fucking snow? Who?


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 03:02 PM

Yeah I know the feeling and as its currently 12 degrees here, snowballs are out of the question 'cause its too damn dry. But I used to love/hate a good snowball fight as a kid. Kids are really cruel, ya' know? So.............my group would stock up before challenging another group to a good fight at the end of the street. Of course they would have their own stock and depending on the age of the snowball and the humidity and temperature since it was made, some of the damn things were just rock hard. I had worse bruising from friendly, neighborhood, snowball fights than I ever did playing baseball all through school.....and I was a catcher!

Invariably there were injuries and some were pretty nasty! We had one guy who could really wing 'em and he hit Donnie Haskins in the head with one of those iceballs and knocked his ass out! No shit, we had go get his Dad who toted him off to the hospital, groggy as all hell. Things slowed down some after that and I don't recall anymore use of the really hard iceballs. LOL....still threw some but we somehow figured that certain iceballs were softer...............Looking back at that day with Donnie, I'd bet he had a concussion but his Dad never said and frankly his Dad never said anything about it. I've often thought that was because they came from Duluth and his Old Man had some similar times in his own youth.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 03:09 PM

Even (maybe especially) the funnies here fit what I need to summarize in an informal report on the reaction this term gives. Keep it coming, folks, and thanks much.

One post in particular said a page-long bunch of stuff in a few flavorsome words. Others have said things I might say in private that would not be "appropriate language" for me to use at a formal meeting. But I can pass your words around that table! :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: robomatic
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 04:29 PM

There's a travel show that plays on the radio every Saturday. Yesterday they were airing stories where travelers discussed their biggest cultural faux pas.

Therefore I think a better point of reference would be 'Multicultural INcompetence)

(Robo, who has performed so many of them within my own culture that I don't dare try to distinguish between).


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 04:38 PM

It seems to keep a great number of incompetent idiots in jobs!


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: olddude
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 04:42 PM

Some prefer Taylors, while the more cultured prefer MARTIN's   :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 06:04 PM

But stay away from Southern Competence - errr, Comfort.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Acorn4
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 11:54 AM

Understanding other cultures is now enshrined in the National Curriculum   - RE/Citizenship anyway - if you take it to the extreme of trying to be everything to everybody all the time , it all ends up very shallow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 12:02 PM

YEah, Spaw's an expert on multicultural sensitivity and competence; his posts, for example, are clearly competent, designed to carefully alienate and create hostility on every hand. Since they are so effective, he is clearly competent. If he wasn't such a jadrool broke-dick mammalucca in other respects he could probably get a job in Social Services or the Bush Administration in which to exercise his telling effectiveness...but they'd make him where a MOPP suit.





A


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 08:04 AM

I debated with myself whether I would post this comment, and decided to do so because it may be (to use a currently popular phrase) a "teaching moment".

I believe that multicultural competency is more than what Bill D wrote about his friend in his 02 Jan 10 - 01:23 PM post to this thread.

I believe that multicultural competency is more than personal responsibility-as Amos wrote in his 02 Jan 10 - 02:56 PM post- to develop and utilize "the ability to deal with people from different cultures comeptently, acheiving desired ends without embarassing or alienating the participants".

In addition to personal cultural competency, I believe that there should also be institutional cultural competency. What I mean by this is that institutions should have and should vigorously implement rules & guidelines which support cultural competency and address incidences where cultural competency does not occur.

On a larger scale, "Protected class" is a term used in United States anti-discrimination law. The term describes groups of people who are protected from discrimination and harassment.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_class

The majority of persons posting to this institution probably strive to be multiculturally competent in their personal interactions. However-based on my five years plus of regular posting on this forum-I have concluded that Mudcat Cafe as an institition, does a poor job of "protecting people from discrimination and harrassment". This may extend beyond race/ethnicity/religious affiliation etc. However, in this post I am speaking of how Mudcat administrators and other posters deal with instances in which people are targeted because of their race.

I quote a post in Mudcat's FAQ:

"We believe that Mudcatters are blessed with common sense and admirable judgment, and should have little need of rules. The Powers That Be at Mudcat are tolerant of just about everything but intolerance."
thread.cfm?threadid=126099
-snip-

However, Mudcat's FAQ does not clearly spell out what the consequences are for posting intolerant comments.

In February 16, 2006 I started a thread called "Responses to Racism" thread.cfm?threadid=88950. And in Feb 25, 2008, I started a thread called "Mudcat Is Difficult For People Of Color"thread.cfm?threadid=108931. These are only two of the threads that I started on this subject. In other threads I posted comments in which I tried to understand and asked for help in understanding what the best reactions should be when I and/or others felt that there were incidences of racism/cultural incompetency on this forum.

I'm sure there are those who doubt that there are such incidences. I'm also sure that there are those who believe that there have been such incidences but when they occur,the best response is to consider the source, develop a thick skin, ignore those who post such comments, and otherwise act like those posts never happened.

For those who doubt that these types of posts occur and are tolerated on Mudcat here is one example that was posted in response to an informational post that I wrote after not posting on this forum for about 1 1/2 months:

Subject: RE: Origins: What a Jimmy-john is?
From: GUEST,,gargoyle - PM
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 09:30 PM

Az ol gal....it hab ben a grevin me tar bul bout ur lonliness.

Yo b in d only "parson o color" on d mudcat....


So, tell you what I am going to do sister,
For the next decade we, thee and me, will be legally bound together.
The government census is coming around and I am walking over to your side and declaring myself, "a person of color."


It is good for me.
It is good for the family.
It is good for the city.
It is good for the pity of the poor race.


You made me see the light. Right On Sister! When two or more are gathered as one race....


A new decade bound together in deliverance. Amen sister.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


love sister love.

end of quote

I've just reached a point where "considering the source", "developing a thick skin", "ignoring those who post such comments", and "otherwise acting like those posts never happened" has become untenable for me. I have decided that in my leisure time I don't need to deal with such incidences or the possibility of those incidences, and the knowledge that, when those incidences occur, they are likely to be tolerated by administration and ignored by other posters. Furthermore, I believe that such posts turn off potential persons of color who might have been interested in posting to this forum.

I'm sorry about this. I will miss discussing various topics with folks here, but I am glad that I may be able to interact with some people who post here on other venues.

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 08:38 AM

Azizi-

What "GUEST,,gargoyle" posted could also be interpreted as joking/bullying behavior, and regrettably there's a lot of that on this forum as well.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 09:20 AM

"Furthermore, I believe that such posts turn off potential persons of color who might have been interested in posting to this forum."

It doesn't just put off people of colour, Azizi. If I had seen that post, I would have been appalled by it, and certainly would not have ignored it. It is blatant racism, and to excuse or dismiss it as anything else, or to ignore and fail to address it, is really quite appalling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 09:39 AM

I would like to believe that "Multicultural Competence" would also operate with the understanding that some cultures are abject failures and not worthy of any respect beyond the interpersonal kind that can and will occur in the day to day of life between individuals despite their cultural differences.

I would like to think that the value to a society or a community of any one of its subcultures would need to be defended in the open forum of ideas, as well as the day to day of polite intercourse in that society. And if any culture, philosophy, or religion proves itself detrimental to that society, I don't think respect is due it.

I would like to think that, but it is not so and will continue to not be so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 11:57 AM

I saw Azizi's post a couple of hours ago.

It brought up a lot of feelings.

The willingness (from old intentionalities as well as current priorities) to feel them...

... and the ability (from years of inner work on same) to continue thinking through them...

led me to what I hope is a fruitful reflection.


I'm going to hit just the "bullet points" of that reflection, and I invite anyone who wishes to explore those further to PM (NOT POST HERE), so that perhaps this thread may not be totally deflected from its stated purpose.


Think One was, "I'm so sorry Azizi saw that [emotion]-inducing post, though I think I understand Garg's comment differently than she did.... I wonder if she knows how MANY such comments have been removed from this forum before she ever saw them, or that at least one of the (totally volunteer) mods has been on reduced MudTime of late due to health concerns.... whether she knows she saw that one un-remarked comment purely by chance.... whether the post is still there to be seen.... what will be done about it since I KNOW Garg has been specially-watched here for many, MANY years...."


Think Two was, "Oh! I'm not aware that Mudcat HAS any "protected classes.... in the 3D world of legalism they exist... in Max's MudWorld a higher value operates, I think...."


Think Three was, "All I am accountable for (can control/want to influence) at this moment in this thread is myself. MY responsibility (higher priority) is my own work beyond Mudcat in the 3D World, which (in small part) depends upon the cogent progress of this very thread."


Think Four was, "And that depends upon (the current state TODAY of) my own (still-evolving) multicultural competence (according to the meaning under which "I" understand that term in "my" circles)."


Think Five was, "Thank God I'm still learning!

===

So I guess that's "my" teaching moment for this thread.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 12:00 PM

Azizi, if you had notified any of the moderators, that post would have been deleted immediately. I didn't see it or I would have done so. Gargoyle has a history of being that way and we try to catch his nasty stuff, but sometimes we miss it. That's why we count on folks to send us a PM when they see something questionable. Having been a target of his for more than ten years, I have a small idea of how that posting must have effected you.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 12:07 PM

Thanks, Kat, for deleting that post before I'd even PMed you to request it. (It need not have been a request from Azizi-- AFAIK anyone can make a similar request.)

I'd request that continued discussion raised by Azizi's post in this thread be carried on further-- with mod assistance as needed-- here:

WHERE'S AZIZI?

Thanks,

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 05:44 PM

Well, of course anyone can notify us and they do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Stower
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 07:23 PM

I can't speak for what happens in the US under the term, 'political correctness', as I don't live there. But here in the UK I have *never* heard of anyone who aspires to be 'politically correct' and uses that term to describe their aspiration. 'Political correctness' is, in my own experience, solely and entirely a term of abuse, and it is of no precise meaning except 'I don't like what you say and am going to insult it/you'. In that way, it reminds me of the way the term 'communist' has been used in the States, not to describe a person's political affiliations or beliefs, but as a catch-all insult so that the person accused of being a 'communist' will not be heard or have their arguments taken seriously. The same with 'political correctness'. To put it another way, the term says nothing at all about the original views expressed: it says a great deal about the person labelling those views as 'politically correct', that they don't want to discuss details, to engage with the issues, to intelligently argue the case.

My point: Let's engage brain and argue about the issues - their logic, their meaning, their ramifications for individuals, societies and governments. Let's not just call names such as 'political correctness' or 'communist' like a childish playground jibe, as a way of avoiding intelligent engagement with people whose views need to be understood first, before they can be argued with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 08:30 PM

In this place we all have views.....and they all are valid.

When people are silenced or become afraid to make their views clear we are dwelling in a sick society!

When I disagree with someones point of view, I engage them in discussion...sometimes I change my opinion, sometimes not, but at least I attempt to air the issues
Dont let us allow anyone to shackle free speech in this community.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 08:36 PM

Trying to bully someone into leaving the forum is not exercising free speech. That was what Gargoyle was up to. It was very far from "incompetent", unthinking behaviour: he knew exactly how to hurt his target and went for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Rowan
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 08:54 PM

For many years I used the following as an email signature file.

"'Political Correctness' is invoked as a term of abuse for those who have sought to bring marginalised people into the framework of a unified nation. I am happy to be seen as politically correct if that means being sensitive to the problems of the disadvantaged and working to overcome them." The late Sir Ronald Wilson (former High Court judge and President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission) quoted in Sydney Morning Herald 2 August 1997.

I also admit to some intolerance of the use of the word "tolerance" when referring to attitudes towards minorities; I've always preferred "acceptance".

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 09:38 PM

To me it means understanding /knowing about differences among cultures, and being able to work with them (the differences and the other cultures, that is).


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: M.Ted
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 10:01 PM

Neither you, nor Gargoyle, nor the legendary Martin Gibson, nor anyone else has either a right or guarantee of free speech in this community, Akenaton--you are a guest who has been allowed to publish here, and that privilege can be withdrawn partly or totally at any time, for any reason.

Beyond that, it also turns out that you can be subject to civil or criminal action in any jurisdiction where people can access what you have written. And the owners, operators, and administrators of the forum can be held liable for anything that they have allowed you(or anyone) to publish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: TIA
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 10:15 PM

Azizi should not have to PM a moderator to get such shit removed or disavowed. We should all recognize it immediately. No offense to moderators. We should *ALL* recognize and decry it. Please, let's not misplace the onus.

Going out on a limb here....
If Azizi has to point out obviously racist (sorry, there really is not an alternative intepretation) speech, she has already been put in the position of being the overly "politically correct".

Lots of good hearted folks here. Otherwise I would not be lingering after ~10 years (short relative to some of you). IMHO racism is insidious as hell. Sneaks out of even those who do not think they are. I am probably guilty too at some point.

We all need training in sensitivity beyond our little worlds. Oddly, it is easy - and "politically correct" to denigrate political correctness! But, there are attitudes and language that we all engage in without thinking. Maybe a little multicultural competence would mitigate this.

The Mass is ended, go in peace....


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 10:23 PM

uhh TIA kat already said if she'd seen it she would have deleted it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 11:13 PM

So would've any other moderator who saw it or was PMd about it, by anyone. We don't catch them all, but when we do they are taken care of; it is very helpful if folks let us know asap when they do see something like that. It is also very helpful to remember to paste the thread addy so we can get right to it without hunting through the thread titles.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: freda underhill
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 02:18 AM

That's a great post, Rowan, perfect.

Azizi, I agree that there should also be institutional cultural competency. It's distressing in a place like Mudcat for people to be subjected to vitriol. as Kat says, the moderators try hard to get rid of it when it's pointed out to them. Anyone who is PART of some minority group knows what it's like to be left out or not to be able to access services.

In Australia, just this week, acces free phone interpeting services have been extended to all chemists around the country. This sort of service saves lives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: freda underhill
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 05:19 AM

Sorry about that lousy spelling, I was typing away and a visitor dropped in. I meant to say:

In Australia, just this week, access to free phone interpeting services has been extended to all chemists around the country. This sort of service saves lives.

:-)

freda


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: akenaton
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 05:40 AM

i was not referring to Gargoyle's remarks.....as you all know very well!
Azizi has a long history of turning over stones to find something which dosen't exist on Mudcat!


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: akenaton
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 05:46 AM

"Protected class"???............no thanks. Count me out.
That road leads to more madness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 05:56 AM

Re contacting moderators: how?

There's no list of them and no "contact a moderator" button in the user interface.

The only one I know of is Joe, so he's the only one I've ever contacted.

I'd be SOL if I needed to contact one at a time when he's asleep - there being no list of mods and no central link, there also no way to know which ones are likely to be around at which times. I presume there must be an Australian-timezone one, but how would I know who it is?

YouTube's "Spam" button in the discussion threads is a good facility to have - no comment, just raise an alert that any mod could pick up. (So is restricting the facility to registered users, as they do and as Mudcat probably would if it had such a thing).


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 09:46 AM

Can't imagine how "multicultural competence" can reasonably be synonymous with "political correctness," which, depending on the user and the context, can now mean anything from a simple consideration of another's feelings to totalitarian cultural control.

Unless someone is trying to create a new opaque euphemism for something else through the intro of a new phrase, "m. c." can only mean competence (vague already) in many disparate cultures, an extraordinarily unlikely attainment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Stower
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 12:03 PM

Absolutely right, Lighter.

Also right, M.Ted: "... nor anyone else has either a right or guarantee of free speech in this community" ... or any other, and rightly so.

I should *not* have the freedom to post on here (or anywhere) that "xxxx is a f---ing w-----" or anything else which is personally abusive. Neither should you. And while we all should be able to freely and vigorously dismantle another person's views with intelligence, logic and our own experience, that should never be allowed to become an attack on the person. Not only is that potentially damaging to the person concerned and to the confidence of other Mudcatters to post, it is abusive, slanderous and, in terms of advancing an argument and bringing understanding, it is sloppy, retrograde and completely useless.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: akenaton
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 01:14 PM

Get into the real world, I am abused regularly here for my views, although I try to give facts and figures to back them up...I NEVER complain to admin, as abuse is always easy to spot for what it is, and is counter productive in any discussion.
If you cant stand the heat etc etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: M.Ted
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 02:33 PM

You give as good as you get, Akenaton, and you know it--please spare us the "abused regularly for my views" business--you're lucky that you've been allowed to express them as fully and floridly as you have.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: mg
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 02:38 PM

It was a disgusting post and I don't believe in ignoring posts like that...there are some marginal things that we have to let slide but that was overly intimate besides its other faults. That is one thing I would not tolerate...and what offends me more than a generic swipe at a culture, race etc..and that is an assumption that someone can be overly intimate in a public forum with someone..that usually means referring to their biological parts in an overly personal way but could be like the G. post above. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: akenaton
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 03:40 PM

Dont know what to make of Gargoyle, he has never responded to me personally.Sometimes I think he's a deranged genious, sometimes a joker and sometimes I think he's just nuts!

But is there no one here who thinks that Azizi's scouring of these threads, for the wrong inflection, an errant nuance, a deeper sense of victimship, brings posts like Gargoyle's down on her own head?

The US has elected a "blackish" president, and this forum is much more "liberal" than any cross section of US society, so why waste ones time here.....looking for creepie crawlies?
Is perhaps because she knows she is among like minds who regard her as some sort of witch finder heroine.?

Perhaps her new cyber life will be a more fulfilling one, preaching to the rednecks of America's right!.....Ake
I Wish!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 03:48 PM

Thanks, Stower. I concur that "political correctness" and "politically correct" are rarely used as positive terms to describe something the speaker deems desirable.

As I recall, "political correctness" came to public attention about twenty years ago through American campus conservatives who were quoting radicals at a single New England university. Thus the phrase was instantly made useless for serious discussion about anything other than itself.

Is the phrase "multicultural competence" intended to mean simply "the ability to understand, empathize with, or otherwise get along with or assist people of different cultures"? If it is, I'd say its sole value would be to personnel managers who want to express themselves to each other in a hurry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Stower
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 04:43 PM

I have no idea exactly what "multicultural competence" means, since WYSIWYG was "purposely NOT defining this term here", but I would guess it means something like Lighter said. I'd only add that "multicultural competence" seems a strange juxtaposition of two words.

But there's the problem, isn't it? In any institution, or in society in general, if a new term is used that is ill-defined, it is just going to be misunderstood, derided and used as a weapon to attack others who are pro or anti whatever it is. It is a question of communication, surely, by those who wish the term to be understood.

It seems to me there is a clash of two big issues here, and I wonder if this is what Susan had in mind in her original post (and I'd be grateful if you'd indicate this, Susan, if you come back and read this).   

On the one hand, it is surely a good thing to be culturally sensitive. It would be an odd person, it seems to me, who would argue that trying to understand another's cultural perspective and ways of doing things is a bad thing? (I do know such people do exist, though.) Understanding does not necessarily indicate agreeing with, of course.

On the other hand, there is an obvious clash between being culturally sensitive and holding some hard-won political standards and values, such as equality. Should I be culturally sensitive to someone who, brought up in their own culture, believes that women are of less worth than men, or should I give those widely-held beliefs no respect, due to my politics? Personally, I would always go for universal ethical standards over respecting particular cultures that perpetuate inequality.

Just as the "politically correct" jibe has been used as a blind battering ram against anyone who aspires to be culturally sensitive (for example), "respect for culture" has also been waved as a banner to justify turning a blind eye to social injustice (usually by those with a vested financial interest in staying on the right side of brutal rulers or misogynist cultures, it has to be said!). I do not respect any aspect of a culture that wishes to divide people into the more and less worthy of life, social benefits, etc.

So what's my point? To use the language (which I would *never* use outside of this discussion!), I would wish to be "culturally competent", i.e. sensitive to others' cultural mores and values, as long as that did not clash with being "politically correct" (Ugh! It hurts saying that!), i.e. maintaining the standards of equality for black and white, men and women, etc., that have been so hard won, which all cultures have yet to entirely achieve, and which some cultures are still perpetuating the opposite of.

Hope all that makes sense!


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 06:27 PM

There's always "ethically correct" first written by JonW in THIS THREAD. At some point in that thread, I think it was Rick Fielding, who coined "ethically conscious" which has been my preferred term since.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 06:27 PM

But is there no one here who thinks that Azizi's scouring of these threads, for the wrong inflection, an errant nuance, a deeper sense of victimship, brings posts like Gargoyle's down on her own head?

I would very much like to think that there are no Mudcat members, who thinks that, including you, akenaten.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: akenaton
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 06:40 PM

Well, As I have the greatest of respect for you Mr McGrath, I must tell you that I have thought that for years.

I know several people here, who have demonstrated for black civil rights and are fed up being lectured on the finer points of racism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 07:27 PM

Pity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: GUEST, heric
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 08:23 PM

I hate to tell you ake, but if you have white friends who felt the need to tell you about their fight for black civil rights, they are probably a bit too much into their own stories to be worth listening to.

Azizi may write long posts but it's her style, not intended as a lecture or for gotcha purposes (at least in my perception.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 12:45 AM

I've received complaints about Akenaton's criticism of Azizi, and the complaints are valid. However, in this case, I will leave the remarks because there have been responses. But I would ask Akenaton to depersonalize his remarks in the future.

On the other hand, I would like to take Azizi to task for this statement:
    For those who doubt that these types of posts occur and are tolerated on Mudcat here is one example that was posted in response to an informational post that I wrote after not posting on this forum for about 1 1/2 months:

    Subject: RE: Origins: What a Jimmy-john is?
    From: GUEST,,gargoyle - PM
    Date: 30 Dec 09 - 09:30 PM

    Az ol gal....it hab ben a grevin me tar bul bout ur lonliness.

    Yo b in d only "parson o color" on d mudcat....



If Azizi or any other Mudcatter had contacted me about the offending post, it would have been deleted as soon as I received her complaint - but tonight was the first time I heard of it. If she neglected to complain to me or Mick, then she has no reason to post a public complaint about our "tolerating" racism. I have asked Azizi previously not to copy and re-post deleted posts, and I have also asked her to complain to me directly if she finds a post offensive. She has once again failed to do so.

It does tend to lend credence to Akenaton's criticism.

And Jack Campin, if you need help from a moderator, send an e-mail or personal message to me or Big Mick. We are the contact persons, and we usually respond within a matter of hours. There are few emergency matters here that require a quicker response - but if there is an emergency need, ask around and I'm sure somebody can tell you which moderator is active.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 04:53 AM

People who burble on about racism obviously have nothing else to do. In a world where most folks come from somewhere else, most folks get on with one another - it's just the few ......


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: akenaton
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 11:42 AM

No problem Joe.....You da man!


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 11:58 AM

And Jack Campin, if you need help from a moderator, send an e-mail or personal message to me or Big Mick.

I'd forgotten about Big Mick, and I believe there are about 5 others?

I wasn't talking about me. The fact that there's no publicly visible way to either contact or identify the moderators is a problem for anyone relatively new to the site. The way you do it shouldn't be something you only learn about if you happen to have come across a thread that mentions it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 12:48 PM

As the OP (original poster) of this thread, may I respectfully request that we now return to the topic as posted, so that the folks "new to this site" that I'll be inviting to view this topic will be able to follow the original topic without having to wade through all the digressions?

It's now too bulky to print as-is for them, or mail it; the relevant meeting I referenced in the OP (opening post) has now been rescheduled-- so I'll be emailing them this link instead.

Thanks,

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 01:39 PM

How about you explain why you're asking people all round the world about the meaning of an exotic term none of us have ever heard before, as used by people you haven't named, for purposes you haven't given us a clue about?


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 01:50 PM

Answered via PM.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 03:24 PM

Susan,

Not a personal answer to your original post, but possibly of interest (I just happened to have had an alert in my office e-mail): The Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy at the University of Arizona is hosting Second International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence.

In the introductory information for the conference, there is this statement:

Description:
    Intercultural competence is [the ability] "to see relationships between different cultures - both internal and external to a society - and to mediate, that is interpret each in terms of the other, either for themselves or for other people." It also encompasses the ability to critically or analytically understand that one's "own and other cultures'" perspective is culturally determined rather than natural.
    -Michael Byram, Professor, University of Durham

also:

Globalization, having brought individuals in contact with one another at an unprecedented scale, has also brought forth a general challenge to traditionally recognized boundaries of nation, language, race, gender, and class. The challenge moves in two directions simultaneously: on the one hand, distinctions that were unnoticeable before have been rendered visible, and in the opposite direction, similarities across traditional boundaries have been recognized. The end result in both cases is that boundaries of social practice are being re-negotiated, re-assessed, and re-considered. For those living within this rapidly changing social landscape, intercultural competence--as defined by Michael Byram above--is a necessary skill, and the cultivation of such intercultural individuals falls on the shoulders of today's educators. They should provide students with opportunities to help them define and design for themselves their "third place" or "third culture," a sphere of interculturality that enables language students to take an insider's view as well as an outsider's view on both their first and second cultures. It is this ability to find/establish/adopt this third place that is at the very core of intercultural competence.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 03:53 PM

>>   Intercultural competence is [the ability] "to see relationships between different cultures - both internal and external to a society - and to mediate, that is interpret each in terms of the other, either for themselves or for other people." It also encompasses the ability to critically or analytically understand that one's "own and other cultures'" perspective is culturally determined rather than natural.
    -Michael Byram, Professor, University of Durham <<

But Professor of what? Surely not of lucidity. My top three guesses:

1. Education. 2. Cultural Theory. 3. Communications.

According to the professor, anyone is "interculturally competent" who can fairly translate a sentence from one language into another. (Of course, the more sentences and languages the better, but I'm sticking to his definition.) One should also realize that, thanks to history and society, persons of different cultures are likely to have different points of view on some things.

Back in my day, we called such talents and knowledge "a high-school education."


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Greg F.
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 04:21 PM

Back in my day, we called such talents and knowledge "a high-school education."

Or possibly common courtesy and open-mindedness.

Gotta love the wankers that crank out these exotic and mostly meaningless terms. S'pose they have nothing better to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 04:52 PM

Still no real answer, either here or in that PM.

It looks like the point of the term is simply to intimidate people with terminology. Whoever is using it knows perfectly well that most people reading it won't have a clue what it means.

Those readers are most probably junior workers in a large organization being forced to comply with bizarrely written guidelines and fill out reports on how well they're doing. The point of the whole exercise being to put them in a position where they can never win. They don't know what the expectations are and can be denounced at any time for failing to meet them.

It's a scenario like Kafka's "The Trial".


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 05:08 PM

>>It looks like the point of the term is simply to intimidate people with terminology.<<

One has already become two ("multi-" and "inter-"), which may or may not be synonymous at the whim of the user.

But you can't go far wrong if you claim both competences. As long as nobody demands details.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 05:47 PM

Jack, sorry, no conspiracies here. My office puder often "burps" in mid-send. I'll just find the PM and resend it.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 07:09 PM

I did get the PM first time. What neither it nor any of the discussion here has revealed:

- who are the people using the term?

- what have they said that illuminates the intended meaning? have they given any clues AT ALL about what the phrase means?

- who are they talking to?

- what is at stake? do people lose their jobs, face criminal prosecution, get refused citizenship status or have funding cut off for not being "multiculturally competent"?

- who is going to determine whether people are "multiculturally competent"? is there a right of appeal and if so, who to?

I could come up with my own random phrases like that. Caramelized syntax. Ingrown wire. Pre-filtered obligations. Humidified agendas. If I was the boss of a big enough organization I could demand that my peons try to guess what all of those meant and watch them squirm.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Rowan
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 07:30 PM

For those interested in how language generally, and words specifically, are deliberately misused to confound clear communication I can recommend two books by Don Watson;

"Death Sentence" and "Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words".
At one stage in his life, Don was a speechwriter for Paul Keating, one of our previous Prime Ministers.

And, for those who are interested in installing a free bit of software that acts as a managerial jargon detector, I can recommend Bullfighter which, apparently, started out as a project funded by one of the large business houses. When the lads started using it on the internal documents of the business house they were given their marching orders (so it must be good!) and told they could distribute it so long as they did so for free.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 08:06 PM

The time saved by using jargon expressions, instead of taking slightly longer and explaining what we mean, is probably more than outweighed by the time wasted arguing about the merits and demerits of the terms and trying to justify their use, in face of critics who object to this kind of language.

More important - when we use this kind of language this can have the effect of focussing attention on the words rather than on the thinking that lie behind their invention.   

The effect is likely to be to hand a dangerous weapon to those who find it more convenient to attack the words rather than the ideas. And it can also provide careerists, who have no real understanding of these ideas, with a tool they can use in clawing their way upwards.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 08:23 PM

A quick Google shows that "Multicultural Competence" is most certainly a legitimate buzzword.

Not that I think much of buzzwords, but there you are.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 08:36 PM

I live in a county that has a large multicultural population--meaning simply that a significant number of our neighbors have come from different places. "Multicultural Competence" isn't a buzz word or an obfuscation here, it is a survival skill--

For teachers and school administrators, it means understanding how to manage the fact that the kids at the local middle school speak any one of 71 different languages at home, for police and public safety officials, it means dealing with rural villagers who don't realize that they can't walk down the middle of a road like they did in Central America, for store managers, it means knowing that the Pakistanis who have signed up to work on Christmas Eve have to be taught to say, "Merry Christmas" to the customers. For realtors, it's figuring out what floor plans will work for an Ethiopian extended family with 11 adults.

It isn't just the home-growns who need to develop the competence, either--yesterday, I was in a sandwich shop with three Latina order takers, one of whom began speaking to the Vietnamese-American woman ahead of me in Spanish.

It is really is the skill of recognizing situations where someone isn't familiar with what what is going on, and developing a strategy for bridging the gap.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 10:17 PM

Jack, it's nothing like that-- relax. Nuff said.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 12:27 AM

Wow. What a lot of reactionary reaction, and righteous bristling at academic language. I think there's a lot of good stuff there.

Prof. Byram's definition gets at being able to see others as they see themselves, as well as understanding how they see us.

In the second paragraph about the conference theme, "the third place" or "third culture" is about this ability to step outside of one's personal point of view.

:: "Globalization, having brought individuals in contact with one another at an unprecedented scale, has also brought forth a general challenge to traditionally recognized boundaries of nation, language, race, gender, and class." ~ I'd add religion to the list

:: "The challenge moves in two directions simultaneously: on the one hand, distinctions that were unnoticeable before have been rendered visible..." ~ paraphrasing part of this: it's easy to assume people see things the way we do

:: "...and in the opposite direction, similarities across traditional boundaries have been recognized." ~ again paraphrasing: at the same time, we may have more in common than we realize

:: "..."third place" or "third culture," a sphere of interculturality that enables language students to take an insider's view..." ~ the ability to see others as they see themselves, as well as we and to integrate that with our own perspectives on them

:: "...as well as an outsider's view..." ~and see ourselves as others see us, as well as being able to objectively look at ourselves

It's all stuff that is basic to good human interaction, just more difficult -- challenging, and thus requiring more thought and effort -- as we move outward from our own family/community/culture.

Is all that so bad??

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: GUEST,999
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 01:02 AM

"Multicultural Competence: Let's celebrate the differences, develop strategies to encourage cooperative learning, brainstorm ways to wear other people's clothes and not look like we're trying to pass, and encourage diversity in our outcome-based-educational endeavours. Let us go forth into a brave new world where no child is left behind and there is a chicken in every pot, yada, yada, yada, yada."

Meanwhile, our prisons are full and minorities are over-represented therein.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 01:13 AM

Your point?


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 01:14 AM

Or more specifically, which do you see as cause, and which is effect?


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: GUEST,999
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 01:15 AM

My point is that it's another buzzword. And as with the buzzwords I used, it'll likely go nowhere. Howzat?


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: GUEST,999
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 01:18 AM

I detest terms that people think mean something but actually mean something different to everyone who uses the term. Allow me to ask: what does Multicultural Competence mean? To you. Right now?


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: freda underhill
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 05:33 AM

"Why then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or
bad, but thinking makes it so." (from Hamlet)


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 06:49 AM

As 999 points out, multiculturalism is a pretty inadequate reponse to the predicament a lot of the people oppressed by the capitalist system find themselves in - most of the black and Asian activists I've known in the UK regard the whole multiculturalist project with utter contempt.

When a group of people have been subjected to generations of violent oppression and exploitation (Palestinians or Aboriginals, say), their main need is not respect and understanding, it's for the oppression to stop and reparations for what's been done to them.

Multiculturalism may be helpful some of the time, but for the most serious issues we face it's a cosmetic palliative.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 10:21 AM

Here is an example of multicultural competencies of various, relative degrees. It's an example of how one might choose to share historical material referencing a period that had not yet grown, ethically, to understand "class" and "race" issues in the same way they are now "better" understood. (It's all relative, see?)

(In the Spirituals permathread, I have often found myself in that same position, as do many other Mudcatters posting songs that reference sexist and other "now known to be wrong" attitudes, such as the MJH song "Nobody's Business But My Own").

So here's the "enlightened" audiobook-reader's summary of an autobiographical account of the Old West frontier life of the US; the woman who wrote the autobiography is enlightened for HER time:

Her letters, chatty and detailed, open windows on varied aspects of frontier and army life: army protocol (including the right of senior officers to bump subordinates out of their housing); the Indian tribes--Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Apache, Kiowa (ceremonial visits from chiefs as well as Indian warfare); the black cavalry troops (at Camp Supply in Indian Territory); Chinese cooks (also Polish, Irish, and enlisted men doing kitchen duty). Her letters span years of rapid change in the West. They touch on the disappearance of the buffalo herds, the decline of the Indian tribes and the coming of the railroads.


To the concrete-minded folks who've often been so frustrated with me-- sorry, I don't "do" concrete, but I do respect your way of thinking.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 01:18 PM

I avoid people who use such terms like the plague.
In general, they are emphasizing their own incompetence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 08:09 PM

"Multicultural Competence" isn't a buzz word or an obfuscation here, it is a survival skill--

The skill is important, indeed essential - but words like that get in the way.

Far better to take a bit more time and talk in terms such as the skill of recognizing situations where someone isn't familiar with what what is going on, and developing a strategy for bridging the gap

or being able to see others as they see themselves, as well as understanding how they see us.

If people say they disagree about the importance of doing stuff like that, you know there's a real disagreement that needs to be tackled. The kind of arguments that are thrown up by jargon terms can enable those kind of disagreements to camouflage themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multicultural Competence
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 08:17 PM

"Far better to take a bit more time and talk in terms such as the skill of recognizing situations where someone isn't familiar with what what is going on, and developing a strategy for bridging the gap"

BRILLIANT.


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