I know that you guys mean well, and that you have a lot of submissions to deal with. That is why I try not to complain about this outside of the odd email and topics like this. Just wanted to get out of the way that I do not take it personally or anything like that, nor do I expect any special treatment because I submitted a lot.
It is just that sometimes a place gets declined (often food related ones) for a certain reason. e.g. it is not the biggest or the only one. Then I try to provide additional information, that should have been in there in the first place yes, but I do not always focus on the sensational bits. A few years ago, the editor would look at it again and sometimes go “well that does change things.” These days, it does not matter because it has been declined. A second look has not been an option as far as I am aware, in fact I even got the message that once feedback is shared, they hope that their decision is respected. e.g.
We are working hard to make sure that we give our community members as detailed an explanation as possible for when we aren’t able to include their submissions and suggestions, but we also hope that once we do share that feedback, you’ll be able to respect our decisions.
If you guys prefer that these pieces get resubmitted so that they can be re-evaluated with additional info, then that is fine. But that was not the impression that I got. (correct me if I am wrong.) It would not be a bad way to do it though if you want to avoid emails.
As for the spots that I was mentioning. One was because it is re-written through a very US-centric lens where the word ‘gypsy’ is described as derogatory and no longer in use, while this is not the case in most of Europe. I can understand that you guys don’t want to throw around a word that can be derogatory, but the article feels judgemental of a term that was so much the norm that their king was named it. It was not a swear word that others called him to belittle the man. One could also use the Polish word ‘Cygan’, translate it to ‘Gypsy’ and then explain why the English word ‘Gypsy’ is derogatory. Now it comes over a bit like it is saying that the Poles are racists for not upgrading their vocabulary.
The other one was the one on the Antwerp hands, which are simply a sweet. The act of cutting off hands in Congo is in no way related to it. Yes, they are both hands but implying that the people making and selling these somehow are supportive of it is really a big stretch IMO. One can and should still cover it, as apparently people do make this connection, but I think that it is important to do it in a neutral way. The article does a decent job of that, but my annoyance spikes each time I see this blurb on facebook.
While the common legend about Antwerp’s chocolate hands tells a story of sweet victory, there is a more complex, bitter, and oft-overlooked history associated with the symbol of severed hands in Belgium.
If you look at the comments in those posts, they are basically exclusively from angry people who think that Belgium is celebrating the Congo. Especially because 99% probably does not actually click or read the article. Which is really not the kind of emotion I was going for when adding this entry.
All in all, I really try not to be political. I see AO as a place of wonder and inclusivity where interesting places from across the world are shared and discussed and where boundaries are broken down by showing people the beauty of another country despite whatever political stuff might be associated with it. However with some of these things it feels like one country (the US) is judging traditions of others, based on their own values and history, and that of course is your right to do. It is just frustrating to see things that I add being turned into vehicles for exactly the kind of thing I am trying to avoid. I could go on, but this reply is long enough I think.
Again, I mostly just penned this down because people are talking about it and I wanted to weigh in my opinion. Overall you guys are doing great, and I am very happy with how most my other 248+ articles turnd out after the editing.