[Noisebridge-discuss] Cynthia and "Asian" Reference

Jake jake at spaz.org
Wed Feb 1 15:19:33 PST 2012

the message below was sent to myself, and to the list.

I don't know why it didn't appear on the list, perhaps there is a 
moderator who can explain that.  If a moderator made a decision to reject 
this message based on the content, I would like to know about that.

Anyway, it's a serious issue. Cynthia is a wingnut, and most of us deal 
with her by not dealing with her.  She has good days and bad days.

Pearl is not a wingnut, she is a person who is trying to be part of the 
noisebridge community to the best of her ability.  When people tell Pearl 
that there are no rules in the space, a little more practical explanation 
would be excellent.  Telling someone to RTFM at noisebridge is lame.

The main lesson here is that Cynthia may treat you with respect if she 
thinks you are someone who can make trouble for her (speak up at a 
meeting, send an email to the discuss list) but may mistreat people she 
does not recognize as powerful at noisebridge.

If we want noisebridge to be ruled by people like Cynthia, we can achieve 
that by doing nothing.  She will gladly tell people what the "rules" are.

I know we all wish conflicts like this would just go away, but the reality 
is it takes multiple people to deal with problems.  I believe that in this 
case (and some others) Cynthia is the problem in the situation, and that 
more people need to talk with her to insist that she doesn't harass 
anyone.  The alternative is that we will be fostering an environment where 
only the loudest and most obnoxious people will get their way.

Please read the message below and think about what you can do to make 
noisebridge a better place.  It won't happen without you.


P.S. there are also ways in which Roberts behavior could be excellenter.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 23:54:34 -0800
From: Hi There <solving.a.problem at gmail.com>
To: noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net, jake at spaz.org
Subject: Cynthia and "Asian" Reference

Hi Jake,
Firstly, I'd like to introduce myself.  My name is Pearl, a newbie to
Noisebridge (NB).

Secondly, I'd like to seek your assistance in resolving the following issue:
I put "a few tiny pieces" roast pepper skin in the kitchen trash.
 Cynthia began to talk non-stop about I had to put them in the compost box.
 She said that was "the rule" in NB (I did tell her do NOT impose her rules
on me immediately and that I did NOT want her to talk to me) and kept on
following me around speaking out loud about the compost rule (including
posted two big compost notes, talked to 3 other people about I didn't put
the food in the compost.)  She even ignored my line about "do not talk
and/or follow me around in the kitchen area).  These issue went on for about
half an hour!

Another scenario...
Cynthia was sleeping on the couch overnight with ALL the lights off two
weekend ago.  I had to find my way around in the complete darkness.  Freedom
comes with responsibility, no?!  

Last Tue, 3 members told me that there is NO rule in NB.  We basically need
to be "excellent" to each other (which John and Corey had told me on the
first week I visited NB).  I don't find it hard to deal with diverse crowd,
but it is hard to deal with people kept on playing individual power trip, to
build individual territory than a community!!!   Freedom comes with
responsibility, no?!

How is that okay to blast the music out loud  (by the same group of people
choose to hang out at NB every night) when other people would like to have
peaceful quiet to work on their computer projects?  (BTW, I tested the water
by asking Robert to turn on the speaker in one morning and was told "no loud
music" played at NB immediately.)  It's mutual respect in a shared space I
am talking here, k!

Last but not least, I saw a note paraphrase "do not touch.  I have ASIAN
H1N1" on top of a can of tea (which was donated by Tom).  That night I was
the ONLY Asian worked over night.  I am willing to discuss with whomever got
any personal issues with me as an adult, but I do not tolerate any racial
reference. (I do not appreciate being called "that Chinese girl" by Paul
when he wanted the whole kitchen all by himself.)

This email is aimed to bring awareness of some of the issues I encounter in
one month at NB.  Please do not reply to me individually unless you want to
have a mediation meeting.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.


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