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Why do we need the Citizenship in Society merit badge?


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We use the same Scout Oath and Law that allowed BSA to permit racial segregation until 1974, meaning for over half of its existence, so I would be careful how you use the word "guarantee." It is also worth noting that inclusion involves more than just allowing membership.

Edited by KublaiKen
Fixed a typo.
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Based on the conversations I've had with Scouts, and listening in to others while they were taking the merit badge, there is a situation, and the kids know it.  In fact, given the often-cagey response

I think many of us would agree the aims of scouting including citizenship development.  The question is the how (methods). In order to achieve the top rank in UK Scouts, you have to complete 9 ch

I went from hating the idea of this badge and being very dismissive of it to thinking it has a valid place for a variety of reasons. 

1 hour ago, KublaiKen said:

We use the same Scout Oath and Law that allowed BSA to permit racial segregation until 1974, meaning for over half of its existence, so I would be careful how you use the word "guarantee." It is also worth noting that inclusion involves more than just allowing membership.

Dont let some of the people on here see this message, they are gonna call you a woke marxist if you keep bring up correct facts like this.  We should be talking about our mistakes of the past rather then run from them and call it a wokeness taking over scouting. 

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2 hours ago, nolesrule said:

As a female Jewish person in organization comprised mostly of white Christian males she wonders (and so do I) why people afraid of having conversations about differences?

What are they scared of?

Because it's wrong to use race and gender to claim more knowledge, rights and privileges than others.   Go figure.  It's fundamental to the political hypocrisy of these issues --> Using the differences of race and gender to justify why the other person is less informed.  

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1 hour ago, KublaiKen said:

Now there's a stupid thing BSA does.

It's about time to have that conversation. Funny that the Declaration of Religious Principle states "Only persons willing to subscribe to this Declaration of Religious Principle and to the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of membership", but the BSA webpages and materials about joining Scouting have zero mention of this Declaration. 

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3 hours ago, fred8033 said:

Because it's wrong to use race and gender to claim more knowledge, rights and privileges than others.   Go figure.  It's fundamental to the political hypocrisy of these issues --> Using the differences of race and gender to justify why the other person is less informed.  

Not claiming more knowledge. Claiming more experiences with differences and how differences are treated. People with experience being different tend to have more consideration for those who are different from them. It's just the way the world works, and it's because experience informs your how you think about things which informs your behavior.

That's not to say people who aren't in minorities don't, but it's certainly less likely. I see evidence of it all the time.

We could also talk about some of the negativity that came with girls being allowed in Scouts BSA, and we still see 4 years later. My daughter has experienced some of that. As @KublaiKen rightfully points out, inclusion means more than just allowing membership.

My daughter is also left handed, and we live in a very right-handed oriented world that people who are right handed don't seem to understand.

Is that a better example? Because it's just as applicable to the conversation but for some reason because it's not about race or religion or gender it's more palatable.

Edited by nolesrule
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1 hour ago, nolesrule said:

Not claiming more knowledge. Claiming more experiences with differences and how differences are treated. People with experience being different tend to have more consideration for those who are different from them. It's just the way the world works, and it's because experience informs your how you think about things which informs your behavior.

That's not to say people who aren't in minorities don't, but it's certainly less likely. I see evidence of it all the time.

We could also talk about some of the negativity that came with girls being allowed in Scouts BSA, and we still see 4 years later. My daughter has experienced some of that. As @KublaiKen rightfully points out, inclusion means more than just allowing membership.

My daughter is also left handed, and we live in a very right-handed oriented world that people who are right handed don't seem to understand.

Is that a better example? Because it's just as applicable to the conversation but for some reason because it's not about race or religion or gender it's more palatable.

Interesting post. I agree with the first paragraph, but based from my experiences, have a different opinions on the rest. I guess different experiences lead to different biases.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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12 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Interesting post. I agree with the first paragraph, but based from my experiences, have a different opinions on the rest. I guess different experiences lead to different biases.

Barry

Just remember, Barry... You are unique!  (Just like everyone else ;) )

There is a deep danger in focusing on "identities."  The result is a descent into tribalism.  (We could improve the merit badge by removing this term and "equity" from the line-up.)

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/social-empathy/201903/when-tribalism-goes-bad

Instead, we should craft questions in the discussion with Scouts along these lines:

- Research an event or situation in US history where a person or group of people were discriminated against due to a trait which was innate. (skin color, height, sex, intelligence, physical ability, handedness, etc.) Explain what happened and the outcome.  Are things different now?  Why or why not?  Relate this to the Scout Oath and Scout Law. (Put this in Citizenship in the Nation.)

- Research an event or situation in US history where a person or group of people were discriminated against due to a characteristic which was acquired.  (such as religion, language, culture, political affiliation, education, economic status, etc.)   Explain what happened and the outcome.  Are things different now?  Why or why not?  Relate this to the Scout Oath and Scout Law. (Put this in Citizenship in the Nation.)

- Research an event or situation world history (excluding the US) where a person or group of people were discriminated against due to a trait which was innate. (skin color, height, sex, intelligence, physical ability, handedness, etc.) Explain what happened and the outcome.  Are things different now?  Why or why not?  Relate this to the Scout Oath and Scout Law. (Put this in Citizenship in the World.)

- Research an event or situation in world history (excluding the US) where a person or group of people were discriminated against due to a characteristic which was acquired.  (such as religion, language, culture, political affiliation, education, economic status, etc.)   Explain what happened and the outcome.  Are things different now?  Why or why not?  Relate this to the Scout Oath and Scout Law. (Put this in Citizenship in the World.)

Until we start viewing people as unique and individual creations, we will never reach an egalitarian society.  Never.  (For example, race is a social construct, and has no basis in the science of genetics.  And as long as we "focus" on it, it will be to our detriment.)

 

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I'm not saying there is maliciousness in peoples behaviors toward others by not recognizing differences (there can be, but that's a different topic). What I'm saying is that people who only have experience with others like themselves and don't see differences make assumptions based on their own experiences of similarity.

You hear things like "I treat everyone the same", which is okay to an extent, but not everyone is the same. To get back on track, this merit badge is about learning to observe, recognize and think about those differences.

Treating people the same is asking someone one on one to buy your pork barbeque fundraiser year after year after year even when you know they have some sort of dietary restriction where they cannot eat pork (the reason doesn't matter). Treating them based on their identity means considering their known individual attributes first.

We also have things like 504/IEP in school, where people are treated differently based on their needs so that they can perform better. My younger daughter gets distracted and agitated by the clicking of keyboards to the point she can't get work done, and pretty much everything has been moved to laptops at schools these days. So the school formally allows her to wear ear plugs so she can focus. For her, ear plugs are the difference between being a C student and an A/B student. It's not taking anything away from someone else.

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29 minutes ago, nolesrule said:

What I'm saying is that people who only have experience with others like themselves and don't see differences make assumptions based on their own experiences of similarity.

And here you are, making an assumption about "people who only have experience with others like themselves..."

That is exactly the kind of gross generalization and stereotyping that we are opposed to.  Physician, heal thyself.

Deal with people individually.  It is the only way...

29 minutes ago, nolesrule said:

You hear things like "I treat everyone the same",

I don't hear this... because no one treats everyone the same.  We all act differently around different people.  I do not treat everyone the same.  But I do strive to treat everyone fairly.   There is a huge difference.  I do not treat a 17 year old like I treat an 11 year old.  I do not speak to women the same way I speak to men.  I do not treat my elders like I treat my peers, or those junior to me... and on and on and on... 

We are and act differently depending on with whom it is we are interacting.  This is a psychological behavior called "self-monitoring"  https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-self-monitoring-5179838

And, just like any psychological behavior, it occurs on a spectrum.  Too much or too little self-monitoring can lead to harm to self and others.

 

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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