Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Catch 22" (Updated with Dex's response)

Its election time for the Second Pride board of 2014. The candidates have now declared themselves and have also posted their initial statements, see Second Pride website.

I was pleased to see that there was a good mix of old and experienced members and many newcomers, so it looks as if it will be a thrilling election. The candidates for chairman are of course those that usually always attract the most attention, as this position is important and essential for the overall results and efficiency of the board.

This year one of the candidates for chairman has been unlucky enough to be surrounded by rumors pertaining to his work during the previous board and he has also gained the support from an extremely vicious anonymous blogger.

Elections can be very ugly and negative campaigning if sometimes chosen by candidates. The difference this time however is that the candidate most affected has not spoken out himself on the rumors surrounding his candidacy and the support he has been getting from an infamous blogger who, under the cloak of anonymity, has launched vicious personal attacks against parts of the board of 2013 and other members of the LGBT community in SecondLife.

The rumors and the support could come from enemies or friends of this particular candidate and I kept getting stuck in a whirlwind of pro's and con's when thinking of this and considering who would or could do this or that and why, so finally I felt it would be most fair to asked the candidate himself what he had to say. This was especially necessary for me as I have not had any close personal contact with Dextrum Boucher earlier and only know him by name.

Dextrum Boucher,
courtesy of
the Second Pride website
Today I posted these questions to Dextrum, Community Relations Director on the 2013 board and now candidate for chairman on the 2014 board of Second Pride.

"Dex, 
First let me say that I welcome your candidacy to the board as I believe the members are best served by a board consisting of people with previous experience and people with new ideas.
I must however admit that your candidacy for chairman has raised some questions in my mind, that I feel would be fair to give you the opportunity to respond to before making up my mind.
1. I believe that elected officials have an obligation towards the community that have elected them into office. This obligation mean – in my opinion – that the electee should serve the full term for which they have been elected as well as do their utmost to fulfill the reasonable expectations on the office together with the other members of the board.
You were elected as a Community Relations Director for the board of 2013.
Sometimes midterm for the board of 2013 I was reached by worrying rumors that you no longer served on the board or that you had in fact stepped down for some unnamed reason. I also noticed, as a frequent visitor to the open board meetings, that you were absent from the board meetings for a good while.
a) How do you see the electees responsibilities towards the community that has elected them?
b) Were the rumors that reached me, about you not being active or that you had de facto stepped down, true?
c) If so, what were the circumstances that made you decide to take such an action?
2. As you know there is an anonymous blogger calling himself/herself/themselves “Kharfest” who was – during the weeks immediately preceding the Second Pride Festival and afterwards – extremely busy with vicious and extremely personal attacks against members of the 2013 board and others in the LGBT community. The only one who has received praise from Kharfest is you. Kharfest has also openly supported your candidacy as chairman for the 2014 board of Second Pride.
a) What is your opinion of the attacks by Kharfest against other members of the 2013 board, especially those against Kharissa Indigo and Doc Spad?
b) How do you react to the fact that this infamous blogger so completely supports your candidacy as chairman of the 2014 board ?
I am sorry if you feel the questions I have asked to be unreasonable or unfair to ask you, but I truly believe that it is better to give you the opportunity to respond on these matters, which I believe can be on other peoples minds also when contemplating their position to your candidacy.
Yours sincerely 
Bock McMillan
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DEXTRUM BOUCHERsays:July 24, 2013 at 1:08 AM
Bock,
I think I can provide easy answer to allay your concerns on these matters. Since you asked may questions and numbered them, I will, for the sake of clarity respond in the same fashion.
1a. I think board members are responsible to the community in many ways. They are entrusted with the hopes and ideas of the community at large. I think one of the largest failings of any candidate would be to use the old line “you can’t please everyone.” In doing so, they allude to the idea that it is not even worth trying. Thus I think it is important that we stay ever vigilant to make sure we are not only serving and answering the current members of the organization, but also all broader community of future potential members.
1b&c. Rumor are rumors, and most of the time they contain little truth. My attendance record is posted in the minutes. I missed fewer meetings than many others on the board. This can been seen be a review of the minutes. I was also one of the most ideologically active board members. This was important in many of the big debates that were held during the transitions that has faced our organization over the past year. I think this experience will prove valuable to me as chair. This board held together better than any in the past with all members serving out their full terms. We did what we did for the community, and we made it through it all together.
2a. As I stated in a response on the blog itself, I find the attacks to be disgusting. Rather than restate my opinion here, I will simply repost what I posted directly to Kharfest on their blog and to my facebook account in response, as I understand many may not have seen it.
The following is my statement taken from the mentioned blog:
Dextrum Boucher, June 18, 2013 at 8:06 PM
” I have long resisted responding to blogs. I have never really taken interest in what people have to say, but this blog has gone too far. Your facts are off. If you are indeed concerned Khar and Doc are ruining Second Pride, you have little to worry about, as they are term-limted out after this term. I AM a member of the pride board and I have been working with Doc and Khar throughout the year of planning this festival. We have not always agreed on everything, but at the end of the day, they have always compromised and we have found solutions together. This year’s festival has been wonderfully executed, thanks to a team of hard working people on the Second Pride Board, Doc and Khar included. Overall, they leave a great legacy for this organization and have, with the rest of the board, set the bar higher for all festivals to come.
I have often said to our critics that Second Pride is a democracy, anyone having an problem is free to come to the meetings and be heard, they are free to run for election, but democracy requires participation. I find it funny that our most ardent critics are often the least involved. Democracy also requires responsibility. Hiding behind a mask is NOT, nor will it ever be the act of a responsible member of the community, who is interested in a civil and informed discourse, rather it is the act of a coward wishing to subvert the machinery of discourse to harm others, and this is a cruel and evil act.
You may have your wish next year, Khar and Doc will indeed not be on the board, but you will find the new board will be no more sympathetic to your cause than the previous one was, and you will still be the same, pathetic coward, hiding behind a monitor.
This is not an outright condemnation, I realize that something must have hurt you badly, and I honestly do wish you a full and happy life, one that will heal the sadness and hurt that obviously drives you to such actions. You must however realize that your negative and cowardly actions toward the good people of our community are both ridiculous and without merit
Sincerely,
Dextrum Boucher
Community Relations Chair, Second Pride Festival Board ”
2b. As to the subject of his endorsement, I outright and firmly reject it. In fact it would not make sense if the person were indeed trying to help me, they have done a rather poor job, which is a point I think we could all agree on. This person is no more a friend of mine than they are of Khar and Doc. I would go further to say that this sort of shadowy discourse is the enemy of freedom of expression. I cannot speak to this person’s intent, as I do not know their identity, but I certainly cannot be held responsible for every psycho that picks up a banner and waves it. This person will receive no more sympathy or aid from me in their goals than they did from anyone else. I have for the most part kept silent on the issue as I have found that it is best to avoid feeding sad trolls. We must simply reject them and walk away, which is what I did in my post. Maybe they misread it, or they feel the need to use my name to grant the some legitimacy or to troll up more division in our organizations. But there are no consequences for those who are faceless, so scolding and arguing with them will not likely solve any problems, and blaming people without proof is never a just action.
In conclusion, I do not feel your questions are out of line. To tie into a point made earlier, as board members, we are responsible to answer to those who elect us.
- Dex 

3 comments :

  1. I agree with Dex that he cannot possibly be helped by what was written. If anything, Dex seems to be a target, although in a very Machiavellian way. I would be very angry if I were Dex right now at this attempt to associate me with all these personal attacks on others.

    I think we are fortunate in that most people, quite frankly, are not taking things that seriously. It really is not the talk of the town.

    There is one thing that everyone has to realize. Doc, Khar, Dex, Baz, and eveyrone else on the board and staff put in much hard time and effort as volunteers, along with the DJ's who played and everyone else who helped with Pride. No one has received a salary, or compensation of any kind except for personal satisfaction. There is absolutely no justification for the personal attacks that were made.

    I am concerned about one thing -- that Pride itself would suffer next year since many people would are so turned off by events now. However, I do think this can be overcome.

    This blog post has done a good service.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In my opinion the questions had to be asked and Dex had to be given the opportunity to respond. It must be said that Dex used the opportunity well.

      Like you, Eddi, I have been mulling various theories on who, what, when, where and most importantly why - one more conspiratorial than the other - but at this time I have too few facts to support a conclusion one way or the other.

      Delete
  2. Good questions and answers and post buddy!

    ReplyDelete

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