Dear Members of the SoulfulDetroit Motown forum,

There has been recent controversy with loud pronouncements of various members leaving and criticisms of Ralph’s moderation. So as the one who quietly behind the scenes has kept the site online for years, upgraded the software, dealt with the crashes, paid the bills and kept the doors open so that this great body of discussion can continue, I feel a need to speak.

1. I completely and unconditionally support and back Ralph in any decisions he makes. Period. I kindly ask that you do the same. We are honored to have this forum moderated by not only by a legend of the Detroit music scene but by a genuinely kind, fair and caring human being who always keeps his eye on the larger ball - a Detroit-centric music forum unequaled on the internet for its quality, depth and, yes, civility. This forum would not be the great body of knowledge it has become without him.

2. As many of you know I moderate the forum, now in its 16th year. Moderation is a very difficult and thankless task. I have been called every name in the book by the petulant who come to our free table, eat our food, drink our wine, then forget their manners, start fights, then whine when reprimanded. Until you stand in our shoes you cannot begin to understand how much we agonize over decisions to remove posts in violation of our clearly written rules and even more over a decision to remove a member. We hate it. It is a most unpleasant waste of our time certain to be followed by abusive responses. All we want and ask is for people to discuss the topics and be kind unto one another.

3.For those of you who choose to leave or are thinking of doing so please consider this. Take a random sample of all the discussion threads. You will find those with controversy very few, less than 2% when I do such such a poll. But, as the saying goes, “100,000 planes landing safely isn’t news.” Don’t let the few loud plane wreck threads distort your perspective of the overall value you have drawn from these years of discussion. If that still doesn’t satisfy you, well then, there is another saying, “Don’t let the door hitya where the good Lawd splitya.” Sorry to see you go. [And we know you will still be peeking in.]

I can see from discussion on this matter that the vast majority of you support Ralph and understand the difficulty he faces and are grateful for his patience. I ask that you continue your support. I ask that you don’t take troll bait. Yes, turn the other cheek, if need be. We’re only here for a short time. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize and out of the gutters of discord.
Thank you.

Note: This plea was also posted here on the discussion thread that led to my response. I have added it as a sticky thread here to insure it is seen. Please continue any discussion of this issue on the thread "A Message For Ralph And Farewell SDF" Thanks again.
[This thread is closed.]