“UES Mommas,” a private Facebook group of 38,000 Manhattan mommies, has shut down. According to a series of screenshots shared on Twitter by New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz, “the white moderator” of the group decided to shutter the group after fielding inquiries from members asking to include more diverse moderators—specifically, after being asked to institute a black moderator.
The message tweeted by Lorenz reads:
“...I have been publicly maligned and accused of horrific things, including keeping black women out of the group, and targeting black women for removal, neither of which I have ever done....
The call to add an admin of a specific race ignores and to a large degree trivializes the difficulties and challenges of other ethnicities and races. One private message I received, for example, pointed out burgeoning levels of anti-Asian (in particular anti-Chinese) rhetoric, and suggested that the idea of appointing a black moderator ignores the harsh realities of being an Asian mom in the current climate. I also received dozens (possibly hundreds, I have not been able to read them all) of private message espousing positions from across the spectrum, including many that support and many that criticize me. These comments crystalize the difficulty of the scenario: short of appointing dozens of moderators, there is no possible way to give perfect representation to every ethnicity, religion, etc., represented in this group, and one group of members is not more or less important than another.
It is now evident to me that this group cannot serve its intended purpose in its current form. As a result, I have made the difficult decision to shut down the group for now. During this time, I will give some thought to the future of the group, if I do decide to bring it back, it will be with significant changes.”
Read the full post here:
There’s a reason “UES Mommas” might sound familiar to you: back in 2017, Jezebel alum Ellie Shechet reported on a similarly insular drama relating to the group’s inability to handle conversations surrounding race. In that incident, two women hired a lawyer to send a cease and desist letter to four other group members, who they accused of libel for dubbing them “racists,” stemming from a few arguments in which one complainant dismissed “white supremacy” as a fantasy and Black Lives Matter as having no “purpose.” Somehow, she believed those were not racist things to say, and thus, a lawsuit.
“‘White privilege’ is nonsense, and black lives matter is a violent group that serves no purpose,” one of the women who sent the cease and desist wrote shortly after the Charlottesville white nationalist rally. “I am conservative and my daughter will grow up watching Fox News and Jesse Watters and Ann Coulter etc. and white privilege will not be a thing in our house.” Both women who sent the letters were removed from the group, but I simply have to wonder: Where will they, and other UES Mommas who agree with them, share their racist opinions now?