Date: 2/22/21 10:24 am
From: George Miller <gmiller1751...>
Subject: [obol] I’m willing to be banned for supporting women
This is my first post to this community and perhaps my last. I greatly
enjoy learning from the many reports, stories, etc. that happen here and
I’m always surprised and in awe of the depth of knowledge to be found in
its discussions. I’ve only been birding for a couple of years, but I’m an
old-timer as far as life goes.
In the past year, OBA has issued statements of support regarding POC and
now women. This latest one contains the following line: “ We are committed
to the work of making birding inclusive and welcoming for everyone in
Oregon.” Sounds great, but the key word there is work. It takes work to
educate people who hold ignorant, outdated views, especially when they hurt
others. I previously spent 20 years on active duty with the United States
Navy - most of it in the immediate company of other white guys like myself.
I can attest to the fact that most guys find it easy to latch on to these
I’ll-advised generalizations. It keeps them in the good ‘ol boys club,
supports their desire to be right or feel superior to other men and
especially POC and women. It is a problem with society at large as well as
OBA’s society in particular.
It is, however, something that can be remedied through intelligent
discussion, and that has to happen here if OBA is serious about doing the
“work”. Sarah Merkle made the most thoughtful, considerate post yet on the
subject, and even provided supporting evidence. Sarah, I salute you!
In the interest of future success, safety, and participation for these
groups that OBA claims to support, I disagree with the demands and even
threats from the Moderator that this important discussion be terminated. No
healing or enlightenment will ever result from not talking about it. Of
course it must happen with the utmost respect shown for all who desire to
participate in that discussion. The only ones that should be banned or
further moderated are the people that hold unrelenting, disparaging views
regarding POC, women, the LGBTQ community, etc. At least one of the
obstinate posters on this topic of women also made crude remarks when OBA
published its statement of support for people of color, and needless to
say, threatening to sue and call the police on fellow birders is
counterproductive to progress. It is also counterproductive to OBA’s stated
goals to allow them to persist, as it serves to alienate new generations of
Oregon birders. Uncomfortable conversations are not fun, but that is where
problems are solved and advancements in the best interest of the community
are born. I therefore urge you, Moderator, to keep the lines of
communication open. If not, OBA’s statements will remain merely words.
George Miller

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