When Facebook mom groups go too far.
I'm so happy to see these issues pointed out, and so well examined. Members of my community had similar issues with our local mom group and community group, so we started a new one of each. We carefully laid out rules in order to foster a safe space. Simple things like discouraging gaslighting, victim blaming, and tone policing, which are often used against marginalized groups. What we noticed immediately was a jump in people willing to make posts that are met with microaggression on other platforms. It's a lot of work, but if anyone reading this has the bandwidth to create a safe online space for their community, I highly recommend it!
This is really good and makes me think about the scourge of HOAs. I hate the concept of HOAs in general, so I'm biased about this topic, but I do think it's interesting how drawn some people are to having the rules of what being "neighborly" looks like be really, really overt and specific. I think it speaks to how uncomfortable some people are with ambiguity around shared spaces or having to live with/near people who use their space differently/have different aesthetic preferences.
As soon as I read “parking” I knew where this was headed. This is so cringe and rage inducing to read- the learned helplessness, the white fragility coupled w/ white entitlement. I recently read Ruby Hamad’s book, White Tears, Brown Scars- which is exactly what this woman from the FB group is exhibiting. I feel like so many people refuse to acknowledge how deeply manipulative white supremacy shows itself is so-called white “progressive” spaces. I live rurally but this type of thing reminds me of the NIMBYism my friends in town tell me about from their older white bougie neighbors in the local FB group who are always complaining about the unhoused and poor people but never critique the real estate system, gutting of social services, pandemic, or generational wealth etc. that have contributed. Not that we don’t have those problems rurally, they just look a little different. And this concept of what is “neighborly” really pisses me off! Like how tone deaf and clueless can you be! Ie. It’s only neighborly if you get what you want. So much to learn/unpack from FB parent groups.
Thank you for this very thoughtful article. I am in the mom's group you are discussing and I saw that post. I had mixed reactions, but since I park on the street when I visit some of those businesses, I didn't pay much attention. I should have paid more attention. I so appreciate you taking the time to dig into the biases and subtle forms of racism happening in the post (and for sure FB mom's groups). I plan to go to the cafe at the convenience store next time I'm in that area to support them. This type of issue is so rampant in metro Denver right now (and probably most cities that are gentrifying). One of the things I love most about cities is the diversity of people, cultures, food, etc. I like bagels, but I do not want to only eat bagels. I also want yummy Vietnamese food from small business owners who are so generously sharing their food and culture in the US.