I Unsubscribed from Archives & Archivists — Ask Me How!

Or, more to the point, if you want to do it yourself, here’s the letter I sent to Nancy Beaumont, Executive Director, and Melanie Mueller, A&A List Co-ordinator:

I wanted to let you know that after some thought yesterday I have decided to unsubscribe from A&A as a result of the events of the last few days. I came to this decision not so much because the occasional message like that of Mr. Sauter comes through but because SAA refuses to take appropriate responsibility and action when such events occur.

Offering an online environment for professional discussion requires active, ongoing moderation; SAA has refused to take this step with regard to A&A, thus making it understood among all users as a tacit ‘safe space’ for people like Dale Sauter. While other users like Kate Crowe, Ruth Kitchin Tillman, and others bravely step up at each occurrence to counter the hate speech, the fact that this exact same story has been acted out three or four times to my certain knowledge on this list makes my point for me: users like Sauter will continue to feel safe and implicitly supported so long as A&A continues to be handled as it has been and as along as the only formal action in response to messages such as his is to shut down the thread and have an ‘ongoing discussion in Council.’

I applaud anyone’s attempt to provide an open space for discussion of all points of view but claims that Black Lives Matter is a hate group and Angela Davis a cop-killer simply cannot be allowed as ‘another point of view.’ An expressed preference for tea to coffee is a ‘point of view;’ a statement that a group working to publicize and protest police violence in this country is a hate group is not.

I hope you choose either to take appropriate, active steps to fix A&A or decide to discontinue it altogether and try something new. In my personal view, the latter would be the best alternative.

Edit: Just received this response: “Thank you for your input, Hanna. I will share it with the SAA Council. Best regards – Nancy”