www.whyville.net Feb 28, 2002 Weekly Issue

Clearing the Board

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Clearing the Board

Times Writer

Hello everybody!

My name is wench, and I have only been on Whyville since October 2001. I am 40 years old and about 12 in my heart. Am I an oldbie or a newbie? Why does it matter? Here's what I think

Oldbie and Newbie are labels. They are not even clearly defined. How long do you have to be on before you are an Oldbie or how long do you have to be on before you are no longer a Newbie? And what about the rest of us who are neither?

Most discrimination and prejudice is begun with the creation of labels. One group of people wants to see itself as special so they create a label for the other groups of people to distinguish them as different (and usually less valuable) than the group that they belong to. Thus, labels lead to prejudice.

Definition of Prejudice: from Merriam Webster Dictionary
(1) : preconceived judgment or opinion.
(2) a: an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge.
b : an instance of such judgment or opinion.
c : an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics.

Sooo.... why do we need these labels of Oldbies and Newbies? Can't we all just be Whybies? Each and every citizen is a valuable member of our online community whether they have been here a hundred years or a hundred seconds. New people bring new ideas and characters, while those who have been here a long time bring experience and knowledge. Without all of these things Whyville would stagnate and die.

Stop prejudice at its roots -- stop using the labels. Everybody already has a name, use that instead.

Thanks for listening,



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