Note: I originally posted this in chat; I've decided to write it here as well as per the advice of apaul34208 and NVZ, to get it more attention.
Hi, all. I'm here to write a message about some recent problems we've had. Specifically, I'm addressing those who participated in How to respond when told to “check your privilege” and My best friend has become increasingly xenophobic towards Muslims. What do I do?.
I had never, in my time on Stack Exchange, been embarrassed to be part of a particular site. But that changed after I spent the past couple of days handling various disputes and flags on those two questions. A mod on another site joked that Interpersonal Skills causes more interpersonal problems than it solves. I'm starting to think he wasn't too far off the mark.
Let me be clear: we're here to answer questions about how to solve interpersonal problems. We are not here to argue about ideologies. Or sling insults at those who disagree with us. Or call people "bigots", "social justice warriors", and all the other pejorative crap I've seen on those threads.
If you find yourself baiting, insulting, demeaning, or otherwise hurting another person to try to prove a point . . . then you're doing it wrong. And let me tell you, I saw a lot of people doing it wrong, representing almost all sides of all of the micro-arguments that sprang up.
We're gonna have divisive questions in the future. I guarantee it. And we all need to have the maturity to deal with them civilly and respectfully, even when talking with people who don't think the same way as us.
People should not be using a site about interpersonal skills if they are incapable of, you know, dealing civilly with an interpersonal situation. We have standards for behavior. Let's live up to them.
This is mainly a public service announcement, because things have gotten out of control on those questions. That said, if people have feedback, general advice, or anything else relevant to say, then I'd be happy to hear it as a comment or an answer. But this meta post is not for arguing about these two particular issues; it's about the fact that for a site about interpersonal skills, we really messed up in these interpersonal situations.