Announcement: It's September! Here are some things we can discuss, and two things we won't.

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diane

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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I can understand how and why this happened and, as others have pointed out, we'll have to see how it shakes out. I can also see how it would be difficult to talk about some subjects without 'sanitizing' them from the three subjects now in separate sections. My specialty happens to be Nathan Bedford Forrest - you can't talk thoroughly about him without mentioning subjects regarding slavery or Reconstruction, nor even some of his major battles such as Fort Pillow. If these aspects of his life aren't to be discussed, you end up with a hagiographic view of him. That can be applied to a number of other Confederate generals and political figures. True, the three verboten things inevitably come up - KKK, slave trading and Ft Pillow. So, if hosts and moderators aren't watching, this triangle can get to be a political grandstand, a Lost Cause grandstand or just a hog waller. I noticed some threads pertinent to Forrest were in the walled off sections, which makes me ask how will this affect the three sub-forums in Forrest's biography forum? Meaning, for example, there is a Ft Pillow sub-forum in the Forrest forum, but there are Ft Pillow threads in the Slavery section and the Reconstruction section. I'm just wondering how to reconcile this inadvertant separation. I'm sure it affects other forums as well.
 

MattL

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I agree with you 100%.

But from what I've seen, this is the exact thing Mike & Ami are trying to avoid.

Slavery is central to the causes of secession, but when I'm asking questions about one of the unique "Pelican" buttons on my Louisiana ancestor's uniforms.
How many slaves their family owned is irrelevant.
That's a big problem we've ran into in the past,

Now it seems those who are interested in slavery will have their own forum . . . so you and I can talk about ironclads and pelican buttons.

Without distraction !

And I think that's great !
No offense but I think that's mostly a contrived hypothetical. Yes people can go off topic with just about any topic here at times, they're moderated and we all move on (including if its ourselves). I don't think slavery needs to be treated like anything else.


I think people need to stop empowering the word slavery. It's just a word for a thing. A system that impacted many aspects of culture, economy, and peoples lifestyles (both those enslaved and free people). Kind of say like farming, or say shipping, or trade, or the cotton industry, or guns, etc etc. It's just a topic it doesn't inherently have any more power than what it represents and the more people single it out the more they create the problem in the first place.

I doubt this scenario actually happens (I know I've never seen it), but to play the game

"
Slavery is central to the causes of secession, but when I'm asking questions about one of the unique "Pelican" buttons on my Louisiana ancestor's uniforms.
How many slaves their family owned is irrelevant.
That's a big problem we've ran into in the past
"

Well what if someone who has an interest in period guns asked you how many guns did your ancestor own. I'm sure to many even if that's off topic that's not a big deal, they either would answer or just say that it's not the goal of the thread. For some reason "some" (not all) treat slavery different.

The reality is this scenario is still likely very contrived. Slavery is no different than any other topic and shouldn't be treated different. If you do then you prove your own bias, whoever you are. If people have some exclusive problem with slavery as a topic then a Civil War forum isn't likely the place they'll want to be, obviously within reason, slavery should be like any topic if it isn't relevant at all to a topic then it should be treated like any other topic.

Gag rules don't work and separate but equal doesn't work either. I can appreciate the intention behind many of those things, but at least I don't think they send the right message or in fact work as intended.

I can't imagine how someone who has all slave ancestors might feel about this. Even a discussion about this. Their ancestors had to live through a bunch of White people forcing enslavement on them (like the majority of African Americans of that era) and because of some descendants of those are uncomfortable with that they can no longer talk about the entire forced lifestyle of their ancestor as a primary topic, or it is segregated off like some of their more recent ancestors might have been. I mean doesn't that preclude that person talking about a big portion of their ancestors in general?

Say that silly "Pelican" button example, that person couldn't then respond with things their ancestor might have gotten (though related to slavery) that relates somewhat. If your ancestors were enslaved at this time then you likely might not have a lot to talk about regarding these non-slave topics without tying it back to the slavery that was forced on your ancestors. Isn't this yet another way of punishing descendants of slaves like our ancestors did? Even if unintentional. If they want to talk about most of what's relevant to their ancestors do they have to go to another forum then?

Just some concerns
 

dlofting

First Sergeant
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I get what Mike is trying to do here. When you type "slavery" into a search engine (Google) the first hits you get probably include some from Civilwartalk, because that's what the bots have found, to a great degree, when they analyze this site. With the changes they'll hopefully turn up the Slaverytalk URL so Civilwartalk projects as Civil War discussion site to the average internet user.

Makes sense to me.
 

archieclement

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I get what Mike is trying to do here. When you type "slavery" into a search engine (Google) the first hits you get probably include some from Civilwartalk, because that's what the bots have found, to a great degree, when they analyze this site. With the changes they'll hopefully turn up the Slaverytalk URL so Civilwartalk projects as Civil War discussion site to the average internet user.

Makes sense to me.
I would agree it would make sense for a search of slavery to turn up civil war sites as it was a primary motivation leading to the war.......they are indeed connected.......and it is what lead to its demise as well.

EDIT-Added- Just as likewise a search of Robert E Lee or U S Grant may also turn up ACW sites....... I would agree both had lives outside the ACW, however its rather hard to ignore they are still rather prominently connected to the ACW at the same time......
 
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CivilWarTalk

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Okay, just so there is no confusion, because we do have some new URLs that make it easier to find these new forums, here is the big secret that's not really a secret:

The new forums are still at CivilWarTalk.com, the URLs of the actual threads have not changed, the slavery discussions and secession discussions, and reconstruction discussions, all are still all at CivilWarTalk.com...

The new URLs are just shortcuts, here look:

These Links:

- http://slaverytalk.com/
- http://secessiontalk.com/
- http://reconstructiontalk.com/

Actually take you to:

- https://civilwartalk.com/forums/SlaveryTalk/
- https://civilwartalk.com/forums/SecessionTalk/
- https://civilwartalk.com/forums/ReconstructionTalk/

And the threads all just have a different skin. It feels like a different forum, and looks like a different forum, but the reality is that it's still all one big forum.

One database, one login, one account for all forums, one search engine, all under one roof.

I wanted you to feel like you were somewhere connected to CivilWarTalk, yet somewhere different at the same time. Maybe I did my job too well...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -​

And on a separate note...don't think that the word "slavery" is banned at the CivilWarTalk side of the forum, the discussion topic is moved to the new forum, but you can mention the word if it relates to your discussion in any of our forums.

I know there is a lot of worry that "my gosh my favorite Civil War (*Person, Place, Thing*) was heavily involved in Slavery, so now I won't be able to discuss them properly in context because I can't use the word *Slavery*….", No, that's not how this will work... It's never been that way....

If there is a connection to slavery, and it's important to the story you are telling, you can and should mention it. If it's the main point of your story then start a new thread in SlaveryTalk and you can later link to it in one of your threads in CivilWarTalk. But if you are just mentioning it as a point that he met a slave, or owned a slave, or that something that happened to a slave that's important to the thread but not the main part of the story, then you are good to mention it in other parts of the forum.

Geeze, never thought that would take so long to explain.

On the other hand, if you are in somebody else's thread, and slavery hasn't yet been brought into the discussion as a talking point, it's polite to not bring it in. Especially if you are in a forum like the brand new States Rights forum, nobody wants or expects you to jump in and yell Slavery in there, everybody already knows that the looming specter of slavery exists, they are just exploring a different area, and just let them have that.

So the expectation is going to be that everyone acts in a civilized, non-confrontational manner in the new forums. We aren't going to use the new forums to have brawls. You can use the forums for research, and for exploration of subject matter, and for deep analysis of subjects you'd never be able to anywhere else.

That's my vision.

Hopefully I can pull it off...

I know... I know... Good luck with that... I'm working on it!
 

AshleyMel

Sergeant Major
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Messages
2,104
Well, I want to thank Mike and Ami for all the work they do and for trying to make CWT a wonderful experience for all of us.
I, personally, would not even know where to start! It is hard to make everyone happy (Lordy, you all should sit in during a quilters club business meeting! Those ladies are fierce.)
Lots of kitty cats to wrangle around here! :cat:
Good job guys!
 

CivilWarTalk

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What does it mean "you do have sufficient privilege to reply/post" ... Are these new forms open to post and new threads.... Are do we have to wait tel September to post anything...
They aren't open today, they probably won't be open this week. I'm hopeful that I'll be staffing them and bringing them all on line soon-ish, as fast as I can! I've been working day and night for 5 days on this during every spare moment, and a bunch of time that I probably should have used for other stuff... You can ask Ami if you doubt me, but I wouldn't if I were you :smile:

As soon as I can make it ready, I will.
 

MattL

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Okay, just so there is no confusion, because we do have some new URLs that make it easier to find these new forums, here is the big secret that's not really a secret:

The new forums are still at CivilWarTalk.com, the URLs of the actual threads have not changed, the slavery discussions and secession discussions, and reconstruction discussions, all are still all at CivilWarTalk.com...

The new URLs are just shortcuts, here look:

These Links:

- http://slaverytalk.com/
- http://secessiontalk.com/
- http://reconstructiontalk.com/

Actually take you to:

- https://civilwartalk.com/forums/SlaveryTalk/
- https://civilwartalk.com/forums/SecessionTalk/
- https://civilwartalk.com/forums/ReconstructionTalk/

And the threads all just have a different skin. It feels like a different forum, and looks like a different forum, but the reality is that it's still all one big forum.

One database, one login, one account for all forums, one search engine, all under one roof.

I wanted you to feel like you were somewhere connected to CivilWarTalk, yet somewhere different at the same time. Maybe I did my job too well...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -​

And on a separate note...don't think that the word "slavery" is banned at the CivilWarTalk side of the forum, the discussion topic is moved to the new forum, but you can mention the word if it relates to your discussion in any of our forums.

I know there is a lot of worry that "my gosh my favorite Civil War (*Person, Place, Thing*) was heavily involved in Slavery, so now I won't be able to discuss them properly in context because I can't use the word *Slavery*….", No, that's not how this will work... It's never been that way....

If there is a connection to slavery, and it's important to the story you are telling, you can and should mention it. If it's the main point of your story then start a new thread in SlaveryTalk and you can later link to it in one of your threads in CivilWarTalk. But if you are just mentioning it as a point that he met a slave, or owned a slave, or that something that happened to a slave that's important to the thread but not the main part of the story, then you are good to mention it in other parts of the forum.

Geeze, never thought that would take so long to explain.

On the other hand, if you are in somebody else's thread, and slavery hasn't yet been brought into the discussion as a talking point, it's polite to not bring it in. Especially if you are in a forum like the brand new States Rights forum, nobody wants or expects you to jump in and yell Slavery in there, everybody already knows that the looming specter of slavery exists, they are just exploring a different area, and just let them have that.

So the expectation is going to be that everyone acts in a civilized, non-confrontational manner in the new forums. We aren't going to use the new forums to have brawls. You can use the forums for research, and for exploration of subject matter, and for deep analysis of subjects you'd never be able to anywhere else.

That's my vision.

Hopefully I can pull it off...

I know... I know... Good luck with that... I'm working on it!
So what might help (at least for me) is if you could explain what you're trying to solve. Clearly you see a problem and this is your solution to that, rather than assuming what that is I'll just ask you what that is.

The result seems to be to create safe spaces where people can avoid certain topics (specifically slavery).
 

archieclement

1st Lieutenant
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So what might help (at least for me) is if you could explain what you're trying to solve. Clearly you see a problem and this is your solution to that, rather than assuming what that is I'll just ask you what that is.

The result seems to be to create safe spaces where people can avoid certain topics (specifically slavery).
It confuses me a bit also when they seem to be saying if we want to talk about slavery as it relates to the CW, we will still be able to here on CW talk......then not seeing the point of a separate site as it would seem unnecessary...

Is the separate site just for those who want to express their modern opinions instead of historical ones?
 

MattL

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I'll also add that slavery is such a wide topic. It's not only an economic system, cultural system, etc... it's also a heritage of modern Black people that descend from mostly slaves during this era. A forced heritage, but one nonetheless. I may think of my Civil War heritage and think Confederate and Union, North and South, free white farmers, some further out west etc. To Black people many of their ancestors were slaves and it dominated their ancestors lives in a stronger way than most other heritages could.

Want to talk about your ancestor's Civil War era clothing? Well slavery dominated that too. Cooking. Slavery comes up. What they did, how they fought, what sides they were faced with, etc etc...

This in effect might be pushing the bulk of the conversation of Black heritage of this era to this forum, where us Whites have the privilege of talking about so much of our heritage or how a topic relates to our heritage without slavery all over the forums.

It's easy to forget this. As White people it's easy for many of us to see that slavery was just some system etc, but it's also a heritage so to many potential members this might be creating a Confederate forum and moving most of the discussion to that forum because others don't like Confederates being brought up, or conversely a Union forum for the same reason. It's not an easy topic for many to avoid with their Civil War heritage.
 

MattL

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It confuses me a bit also when they seem to be saying if we want to talk about slavery as it relates to the CW, we will still be able to here on CW talk......then not seeing the point of a separate site as it would seem unnecessary...

Is the separate site just for those who want to express their modern opinions instead of historical ones?
I'm wondering the same thing, which is why I realized I needed to stop assuming the intention behind it. If it's a forum dedicated to slavery conversations outside of the Civil War (and a relevant buffer time period around it) era then I totally get it. Before or after etc. Talking about slavery at the founding of the Nation, or slavery research 50 years later etc could be a bit off topic (if important).

I don't think that's the case though based on the threads that have been moved to the forum, but I'm hesitant to fully assume anything.
 

CivilWarTalk

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I think the forums are pretty self explanatory if you look in them. They are already filled with plenty of threads with appropriate topics. I'm not going to repeat the same things over and over and I'm also not going to debate this on and on. It is what it is.

I don't know what there is to not get about this. It's not that hard.
 

Yankee Brooke

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I welcome this new rule. I avoid "Black Confederate" and most "Slavery" discussions because, quite frankly, they always devolve into something I want no part of, and usually very quickly. If it stayed there where I could avoid, I wouldn't have any issues.

However it usually spills into an unrelated thread. Even if it's just members taking pot shots at each other, or things like "but I think slavery didn't start the war, so what would I know about anything, including this Enfield rifle we're talking about."

If I'm in a thread on a cake recipe, I want to talk about the cake, not how it was actually made by the slaves most times. Even that comment would be fine on its own, but then it quickly devolves from there. That's when I have a problem with discussions like that.
 

MattL

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I think the forums are pretty self explanatory if you look in them. They are already filled with plenty of threads with appropriate topics. I'm not going to repeat the same things over and over and I'm also not going to debate this on and on. It is what it is.

I don't know what there is to not get about this. It's not that hard.
You don't know since you're not those of us confused. We can make assumptions about why you're doing this and what you're trying to accomplish or we can ask and get it actually from you so we don't assume wrong.

If you'd prefer not to answer questions and for those of us confused to remain so and fully assume those things then fine, though that's an odd stance to take if it can be avoided.

I've personally raised some gray areas (pun intended) where I'm not sure where it fits in the new paradigm. Such as Black people where their heritage is dominated by the topic of slavery, are they now relegated to this new slavery forum since likely it will come up with much of what they might like to talk to and how it relates to their own heritage?

I've seen nothing said by you that addresses this scenario, so no it doesn't feel self explanatory, which is why I asked. Maybe I'm just stupid though since "It's not that hard."
 

CivilWarTalk

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I'm not sure when the last time we got a black heritage question was. But if we did get a black heritage question, or if that became a popular thing, and in 20 years it's never been a popular thing, I can count on less than five fingers the number of black heritage requests I've seen, (and not from a white person) if it became a thing sure, I'm sure we could find a way to accommodate it.

Are you saying that if they had a slave heritage that they would be ashamed to go to the Slavery forum to discuss it or learn more about it. Is having a slave heritage shameful?

I'm sure there are plenty of outlier subjects that we don't have forums for. Money for instance. If you want to talk about Civil War coins or paper money, we don't have a forum for that, you are stuck discussing it in the Relics forum, or the History forum, or what have you....

I don't know, I can't do everything.... We have lots of gray areas. We don't have an area specifically for discussing the Battle of Balls Bluff. We don't have an area for discussing the Civil War era education system, but we have an area now for American Slavery....

But it seems like now that I'm giving the gift of a American Slavery Forum to you, it's not enough for you. Maybe you don't deserve this forum.

I don't have to give you this forum.

I'm hearing thank you from some people, and you are welcome if you said thank you, but the rest of you who just want to bicker and complain, I'm not so sure now....

All this hard work and still, you seem ungrateful….

Maybe I misjudged you.... I'll need to think about this.....
 

ami

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I'm not sure when the last time we got a black heritage question was. But if we did get a black heritage question, or if that became a popular thing, and in 20 years it's never been a popular thing, I can count on less than five fingers the number of black heritage requests I've seen, (and not from a white person) if it became a thing sure, I'm sure we could find a way to accommodate it.

Are you saying that if they had a slave heritage that they would be ashamed to go to the Slavery forum to discuss it or learn more about it. Is having a slave heritage shameful?

I'm sure there are plenty of outlier subjects that we don't have forums for. Money for instance. If you want to talk about Civil War coins or paper money, we don't have a forum for that, you are stuck discussing it in the Relics forum, or the History forum, or what have you....

I don't know, I can't do everything.... We have lots of gray areas. We don't have an area specifically for discussing the Battle of Balls Bluff. We don't have an area for discussing the Civil War era education system, but we have an area now for American Slavery....

But it seems like now that I'm giving the gift of a American Slavery Forum to you, it's not enough for you. Maybe you don't deserve this forum.

I don't have to give you this forum.

I'm hearing thank you from some people, and you are welcome if you said thank you, but the rest of you who just want to bicker and complain, I'm not so sure now....

All this hard work and still, you seem ungrateful….

Maybe I misjudged you.... I'll need to think about this.....
Like I said elsewhere today. Haters gonna hate. It’s what they do. And I know exactly who is instigating it. And they do too. :wink:
 

MattL

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I'm not sure when the last time we got a black heritage question was. But if we did get a black heritage question, or if that became a popular thing, and in 20 years it's never been a popular thing, I can count on less than five fingers the number of black heritage requests I've seen, (and not from a white person) if it became a thing sure, I'm sure we could find a way to accommodate it.
First, you didn't reply to me so I'm only assuming you are responding to me, if not ignore any of this.

I'm not sure finding a way to "accommodate" Black heritage posters is quite what those people would be looking for. I mean put yourself in their shoes. Wouldn't they want to talk about their heritage anywhere on the forums, not just the slavery forums.

As to not many people talking about Black heritage. Well I'm assuming you know we have indeed have posters come with Black heritage and the exact scenario happened that I'm outlining, where they naturally posted their heritage centric questions, thoughts, views and it common involved the mention of slavery. Those posters were met with attacks for that very thing, for overly focusing on slavery. This is why at least one of them left. My concern is that another such poster might come and see they have to post all of their heritage related things in the slavery forum rather than across the full site like White posters.

If that's not a concern for you or you don't think it would be an issue, then fine, I'll agree to disagree. Honestly based on these situations in the past I'm not sure I would recommend a Black friend to come post here about the Civil War, if they are relegated to a separate forum for their heritage (when White people aren't relegated to their own forum) then you might understand how that would make it even harder to recommend. I don't think this is intentional from you and is actually quite common in many White dominated historical conversation areas... though I guess my point is there's a reason why you don't see an influx of Black posters in a place like this and I think this change is likely to reduce the chances of that even more.

Are you saying that if they had a slave heritage that they would be ashamed to go to the Slavery forum to discuss it or learn more about it. Is having a slave heritage shameful?
Not at all, I never used the word shameful. By definition it's segregation. For example are you going to create a Confederate sub-forum so people talking about Confederate heritage perspectives on the various topics will mostly have to reside their? Would those posters be ashamed to post there, no, though they might find it odd they can't post their heritage centric posts elsewhere, that if they get too overly slave topical they get pushed to a specific forum.

I have slave heritage, my slave ancestors predate the Civil War era however so I expect to talk about that in more limited areas on a Civil War forum.

I don't know, I can't do everything.... We have lots of gray areas. We don't have an area specifically for discussing the Battle of Balls Bluff. We don't have an area for discussing the Civil War era education system, but we have an area now for American Slavery....
It seems like more than an area discussing slavery, but an area where topics involving slavery reside (based on the threads you put there) and are required to be. Again this was a question I and at least one other explicitly asked and you said it was self apparent and didn't need answering.

But it seems like now that I'm giving the gift of a American Slavery Forum to you, it's not enough for you. Maybe you don't deserve this forum.

I don't have to give you this forum.
These forums are all yours, you can do whatever you want with them. You suggested you were open to comments and questions and I simply have asked.

I don't know how this slavery forum is a gift for me or others? Again I don't know what problem you were trying to solve, I did ask. If you think it's important by all means do it, you can ignore me, ban me, respond to me, etc... Your forum obviously. Though again I specifically asked what you were trying to solve so I can understand it. Personally I didn't see a problem with how things are now (I fell in love with this forum the way it was a couple years ago) so clearly I'm missing something or don't currently understand. All I can do is ask. If you don't want to explain that's fine too but again but I will remain unsure of the answers.

I'm hearing thank you from some people, and you are welcome if you said thank you, but the rest of you who just want to bicker and complain, I'm not so sure now....

All this hard work and still, you seem ungrateful….

Maybe I misjudged you.... I'll need to think about this.....
So you only want a thank you? I live life giving people honesty, I won't insult you by patronizing you, by pretending or by lying to you. I don't want people to do that to me so I don't do it to them.

If you no longer want my feedback, questions, etc and don't want to answer the questions I've asked that's fine. Just tell me, earlier it was specifically stated that the comments are appreciated, so I gave more feedback. If it's not longer appreciated I'll stop. In your own words "It's not that hard."

Outside of this I do appreciate all the work you've put into this forum over the years, I may not understand this change or disagree with aspects of it but nothing changes that.

On principle though I can't be anything but fully against a ban on the topic of slavery for a month. It's a heritage for an almost an entire race of people for the Civil War era. I'd be equally against a ban on Confederate heritage for a month for example.
 
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