Calling in Call-Out Culture

For calling-in to work, it must be rooted deeply in kind speech
By Gabe FromMaui /
Jun 2, 2017
Calling in Call-Out Culture

Asam Ahmad, in their article "What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic" does a great job of identifying just that. 

What makes call-out culture so toxic is not necessarily its frequency so much as the nature and performance of the call-out itself.

Calling-in is identified as an alternative to calling-out. This is a great idea.  However, if "calling-in" is to succeed as an antidote to the divisiveness caused by the totalitariane brandishing of terminology, it must be more than just more terminology -- it must be rooted deeply in kindness, caring and a desire to bring people together, to call them into a collective.  As Tran puts it, in their original post on calling-in, calling-in is about "calling in people who we want to be in community with."

In Ahmad's article, calling-in is described as "speaking privately with an individual who has done some wrong..." which suggests that calling-in is simply calling-out, done privately. 

This definition doesn't put enough distance between the two phrases and fails especially in that it encourages people calling-in to assume a position of moral righteousness. Whether done publicly, or privately, this is a violent act -- an act of condemnation -- and it contains the same seeds of totalitarian righteousness present in the calling-out practice.

When we call someone in, we are supporting them to be an appreciated part of the group -- "Hey, we'd love for you to be part of our group. You may not realize it, but some of the things you've said may have been hurtful or marginalizing to people we care about and people we think you care about as well."

When we call someone in, we are calling them to join our mission to support kinder speech.

Of course then, it would serve our purpose to speak and type it kindly. 

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