Thursday, April 7, 2011

Discrimination Awareness Week


The "move away newbie" incident

Back in December on Christmas Eve Catero and I decided to hang out in Pond Park for old time's sake. That is where we first met and I wanted to recapture the beginning of our friendship. I was hoping we would wait to midnight and usher Christmas day in together. Everything was proceeding very enjoyably until discrimination reared its ugly head.

Catero noticed something that was going very wrong between two girls. As you may know, Catero finds it hard to stand by while injustices or misbehavior go on.

Leaving my side, Catero went to observe the situation more closely. The "victim" was a newer Pico (the Newbie) that had been sitting at the park on one of the tree trunk stumps. The instigator was an long time Pico player (the Oldbie) who felt that she had the right to command the newbie to get up and move because she wanted to sit there despite the fact that there were many other spots to settle down.

As Catero got closer to the girls he tells Newbie that she can stay right where she is if that's what she wants. He then turned to Oldbie and tells her to leave the other girl alone. Of course, this girls reaction didn't wait and all hell breaks loose. The girl exploded into a rage of insults towards Newbie, Catero and to other Picos who had stepped into defend Newbie as well.

From a distance I was seeing how the situation was escalating. The insults from this girl were getting worse. Newbie kept her cool, not speaking often and largely ignoring Oldbie's vulgarity. Catero managed to keep his cool, calmly defending Newbie's right to sit where she wanted while an angry Oldbie threw hateful, hurtful words in their direction.

I went and stood beside Newbie and Catero to show my support. Several other Picos had done the same - particularly when Oldbie started to say some racist things about people's color and where they were from. When Catero noticed how upset I was and suggested that I may want to protect myself form Oldbie's hatred by keeping my distance. As I walked away, I noticed that many of the Picos present at the time had surrounded Catero and the two girls. I was very happy and relief to see that many of the people in the crowd were supporting Newbie.

Consequentially, the girl exploded into maximum rage and started attacking everyone in the crowd but keeping Catero as her main target. All you could see where Picos saying, "Racist, racist!", "She is a racist!" or "Go away, racist!".

Eventually, outnumbered, Oldbie ended up leaving the Park area defeated by the crowd who confronted her bullying. Newbie was left to sit on the stump peacefully.

Though the incident left me feeling down, Catero came back and cheered me up with a little goofiness. In the end, midnight rolled in and we experienced a brief Christmas morning in Pico, wishing one another a special "Merry Christmas".

Why do some Picos believe that new members are stupid and have no rights or are entitled to less rights than the rest of us? Pico doesn't belong to only one group of people. Being users who have stuck around doesn't give us a special license to mistreat those who are not-so-new. Pico was created for everyone to enjoy. New and old members alike have equal rights to all of the wonderful public areas that Pico has to offer.

In Pico we don't have to earn the right to stand or sit in particular place, visit certain areas, speak to specific people, etc. We all are given that same right the moment we sign up and agree to the Ameba Pico Terms of Use to become a new member.

Do you have a story?
If you have encountered or spoken out against discrimination in Pico please share it with us and it will be posted at the end of Discrimination Awareness Week.

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  1. Hello! I’d like to invite you to join a rotation that I’m maintaining specially for Pico bloggers. =)
    Please read this for more info:
    About the post, it's really common to see Picos doing this, sadly... But it's so nice to know that there are still people ready to defend our beloved newbies! Without them, how could be any oldbies if all of them already were a newbie someday in the past?

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