A user on this site has had a bad experience with posting questions. Apparently it is improving a little as there is a new question from the same poster.

The question currently has two close votes. As this user has not understood previous close votes, I am suggesting that we post here extended reasons why the question might not be up to site quality.

Feel free to post an answer critiquing the question in a positive way. Try to stick to critiques that are addressable (e.g. the question is too long) rather than merely critical (e.g. the question sucks).

You do not need to vote-to-close or down-vote the question to post a critique here. But if you did take one of those actions, I would hope that you would either up-vote an answer here or post your own. Or both.

  • 1
    This title is vague. Please change it to something more specific, unless it's meant to cover all "bad" questions...
    – agc
    Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 20:20
  • 1
    @agc What would you suggest? To limit it to just the linked specific question.
    – Brythan
    Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 20:22
  • @Brythan When initially posted the question had to step away immediately. Just back. At least you have had the integrity to post a question here at meta relevant to the original question. The "down" votes are irrelevant and expected. The "close" votes make no sense to this user. Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 20:42
  • 1
    "Objections to guest271314's African-American statehood requirements question?"
    – agc
    Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 21:37

4 Answers 4


One problem that many of the questions have had is that they feel like the poster has an agenda. In this case, the question seems to be promoting that the group of Americans known as black or African-American establish a separate, virtual country. Or a separate, land-based country--it's not quite clear. As a general rule, we consider questions with an agenda to be rants and close them.

The question also makes assertions without citation, e.g.

[...] historically so-called "Colored", "Negro" or "black", "African American" people in the United States, who have not yet formed an independent, sovereign nation or nation-state, though who could spontaneously decide to do so at any moment.

Actually, that group did form an independent, sovereign nation or nation-state in Liberia.

Further, the idea that a group can spontaneously do anything in a moment is somewhat suspect. It is far more likely that a group might decide to do something after a great deal of discussion. That's neither spontaneous nor a moment.

It's also unclear to me what such a separate virtual nation would offer. Because the citizens of the nation would actually reside in other nations, they would tend to be dual citizens. In particular, those born in the United States would be dual citizens, as everyone born in the US is a citizen as per the fourteenth amendment. So what would be gained? As citizens and residents, they would still be subject to the laws and taxes of the US.

Consider the following alternative questions:

  1. Could another group form a virtual nation like the Sovereign Military Order of Malta?

  2. What blocks the blacks/African-Americans in the cotton belt from forming their own nation?

  3. What does SMOM offer to residents in the US? What do they gain from membership that they could not get from a group not recognized as a nation?

These are more narrow and focus on more specific, answerable questions. I might answer the second question and would read answers to the first and third with interest. These could be written without promoting a specific point of view.

As is, I have trouble figuring out what the question is. Is it

  1. A promotion of the idea of a virtual nation? This would be clearly off-topic.
  2. Asking how to establish a virtual nation? This might be on-topic, although the current question does not clearly ask this.
  3. Asking how to establish a land-based nation? If so, it is really unclear that this is the question. It also duplicates the Palestinian question.
  4. Asking for specific problems with the black/African-American citizens of the cotton belt attempting to establish their own nation? Again, it is unclear that this is what is being asked.

Questions should have a clear purpose that is not to promote one point of view. This one doesn't.

  • 2
    +1 Thank's for suggesting to the OP narrower questions. I sometimes post such myself simply because when I try to answer a question that is [too] broad I ran into the problem that I don't know the answer to one or more specific facets of the broad question. Alas, narrow questions aren't incredibly popular here... but they do work out well enough, often enough. Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 20:38
  • Liberia was not formed by black people. It was sponsored by non-black people. The premise of the original question is that black people form their own nation-state, without any sponsorship from any external groups. Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 20:54
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    Although I didn't cast a close vote (or even an up/down vote), at least that I recall, I would have also viewed these as "questions with an agenda". It's not that people with agendas can't ask questions (with agendas) that are devoid of merit or quality answers. The overriding problem is that the asker tends to presume certain conspiracy theories or other questionable things, and will only be interested in answers that conform to their preconceptions and agenda. When they don't get them, they tend to move the goalposts and gripe about such-and-such-bias etc. That's all bad. Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 7:04
  • @zibadawatimmy, Suppose a question postulates certain premises, "IF A, B, and C, then is D possible". Note that all political questions in effect have several such postulates, stated or otherwise. Should a non-A faction be able to close it because the very possibility of A, (or worse D), is taboo? If so, then it seems best to clearly state what those taboos are, and which taboo leads to a closing, rather than using some vague catch-all term like "agenda".
    – agc
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 19:47
  • @agc Much like the supreme court with porn, we know an agenda when we see it. "Agenda" here should be taken in a way that invokes "conspiracy theorists and other loons", at least as far as I'm concerned: people that aren't looking for a factual answer, but for support of their opinion/goal. Granted, we've got a lot of toeing-the-line questions these days thanks to the "Trump said X. What's the evidence for X?" style of loaded questions we're inundated with. Some of these can be salvaged, but many are not legitimate questions. Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 4:49
  • @zibadawatimmy, I tend to worry that such intuitions can act as a collective figleaf for bias and obliviousness to a group's own cherished and possibly flawed postulates. Just because people want a certain answer doesn't mean they'll get it, or need it. The answers they want the least can be the ones they (and the public) need the most. We agree there's too much dancing here to the tunes of the POTUS piper...
    – agc
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 5:00
  • 1
    @agc A reasonable worry. Thankfully, the SE has tools to help fight that if it arises. It takes 5 votes to close (by users with adequate reputation); questions can be reopened after closing, and previous close voters don't get to vote again on it; meta posts can be created to discuss issues with particular posts, or general issues with site trends; and worst case scenario you can flag a particular post for moderator attention if you suspect users are voting to close/reopen inappropriately (though don't abuse that, else they'll turn on you, instead). Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 5:09

Although I answered the question, the problems with it were obvious to me: too many possible sub-questions with no clear focus on any, as well as the fairly speculative nature of the whole question.

In my answer, I basically had to quickly go over all possible scenarios that came to my mind as to how a recent enough [quasi]independence cases might translate to the African-Americans. Such an answer is obviously based on hunches rather than any published sources, because few are likely to exist dealing with such a highly speculative topic.

And based on the comments suggesting a different interpretation of the question (focus on whether SMOM held land)... I added that too, since it was an issue that can be dealt in one paragraph.

The OP has this tendency to ask broad questions based on a theory he is basically advancing. He posted similar questions regarding the "political" origin of the notion of race. I think one such question was deleted, and the in the subsequent iteration he posted a 1-line question... which he answered himself (largely with the body of his previous iteration of the question), but his answer was also downvoted. At least in that case there were some better answers, but the top-voted one was very long, which again points to a problem with the question: too broad and subject to interpretation. Frankly, that's sometimes a problem even for highly-upvoted questions on politics SE, but let's not get into that here.

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    The question is not based on speculation whatsoever. Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 20:52
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    @guest271314: only in the sense that you expect a single answer to be valid namely (1) unilateral declaration of secession followed by (2) war won by the seccesionists (or at least fought to stalemeate, I guess). Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 21:11
  • Not sure why you are including the term "secession" in your comments. That is not applicable whatsoever. Until you explain how. Am not expecting anything. Am posting the question at large to get as much feedback as possible before embarking on such a journey, knowing full well the hazards involved. A comparative analysis with Isreal might be fitting, though we have the SMOM, where no territory is absolutely essential to a nation-state, and the possibility of the avoidance of war. The nation-state shall be formed nonetheless; whether land is acquired before or after - if land is even needed. Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 21:15

I voted to close the question because I found it to be rambling and unclear what was actually being asked. No more, no less. I also left a comment to that effect.

Paring it down to succinctly address the actual question (which appears to be about forming a landless state?) would be enough for me to retract my vote or vote to reopen.

As a general rule, if I have to scroll the page to read the entire question, it's probably too long (although there's certainly exceptions).

Only weighing in here because I suspect it was my close vote (I think I was the second vote) that started this discussion.

  • 1
    The question does not propose the formation of a landless nation-state, or a landed nation state; the question attempts to explore the options available. The landless nation-state being the simplest to form; there are only 37 million square miles of land on this planet - though land can be purchased and people of African descent in the Americas can muster enough to purchase land therefore, with even a single avoidance of X-mas shopping. The question specifically asks what the minimum requirements are for the distinct people of African descent in the Americas to form a modern nation-state. Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 0:09
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    @guest271314 - Like I said in my comments on the question, and my answer above, I voted to close only because I couldn't figure out what you were asking, and it certainly looked like a duplicate. That said, the answer to "What is required to be acknowledged?" is going to be the same whether it's about African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Russian-Canadians, or Martian-Australians, so simply being about a specific group doesn't prevent it from being a duplicate. But asking about a landless state is different, and worth asking.
    – Bobson
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 0:10
  • No, the answer is not the same for any group. The U.S. has a specific policy to not permit the formation of a black nation-state, or, for that matter, even the idea to take root in any single individual; in brief see politics.stackexchange.com/a/32885/21216. That policy has been en force for quite some time. At the same time, the U.S. supports Isreal, which recently proposed declaring Isreal "the state of the Jews" npr.org/2018/07/19/630378158/… Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 0:11
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    @guest271314 - No, it has a policy to not allow any sovereign subdivisions that aren't Native American (and it keeps encroaching on those) - that's what the Civil War decided.
    – Bobson
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 0:15
  • 2
    @guest271314 Really, you need to decide what you're asking. There's three possible questions I can see, and you keep changing which one you seem to be asking. 1) What will it take to establish a nation-state without land? 2) What will it take to establish a nation-state somewhere in the world? 3) What will it take to establish a nation-state in US territory? Those are three very different questions with very different answers.
    – Bobson
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 0:15
  • "No, it has a policy to not allow any sovereign subdivisions that aren't Native American (and it keeps encroaching on those) - that's what the Civil War decided." You are simply incorrect on that point. Take the question at face value: establishment of a "the state of Blacks", period. Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 0:15
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    @guest271314 - Show me an example of any policy supporting the creation of a non-Native American subdivision of the US before you tell me I'm wrong about that.
    – Bobson
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 0:16
  • Isreal cannot exist without the U.S. Isreal is effectively a subdivision of the U.S. The policy specifically as to blacks in the U.S. is to not even allow the idea of an independent nation state to be formed by them anywhere in the world, for any reason. Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 0:17
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    @guest271314 - Israel may be dependent on the US, but Israel is not part of the US. Nor was US-owned land used to found it. I stand by what I said - the US will not allow any sovereign subdivisions that aren't Native American.
    – Bobson
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 0:19
  • We have different worldviews. Isreal did not come into existence without U.S. backing and does not exist today without U.S. backing. The question here asks what are the requirements for people of African descent in the Americas to form their own nation-state. Given that said population does not have land set aside for that purpose right now, you can, for the purposes of your own understanding of the question, presume that the newly formed nation-state will not initially be landed, which should resolve your confusion as to your interpretation of the question; and not void other interpretations. Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 0:22
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    @guest271314 - You know, put that way, I actually think I can answer it. Answer posted.
    – Bobson
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 0:45
  • "As a general rule, if I have to scroll the page to read the entire question, it's probably too long (although there's certainly exceptions)." I saw a post on meta blogs where it was said longer questions actually have more upvotes on average. So I am not sure your rule actually is good. If the question is merely too long and you haven't read it entirely, you can't decide if it's good question. Another thing if it contains too many words which could be thrown out of the question. That is you have read half of it and there is no meaning in that half.
    – rus9384
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 1:45

I've attempted to clarify it somewhat, by retitling with adjectives and reording. See revised version: Objective minimum prerequisites for an independent modern sovereign nation-state by alienated African-Americans?

Most of the text is an attempt to anticipate objections, (understandable given the enthusiasm here for peremptory closings of guest271314's posts), consisting of a list of questions that are similar but not quite what the questioner wishes to know. This defense would be improved if the the missing ingredients in each of the questions listed were individually noted, (which I have not done).

On reconsideration, and further modifications by the OP, the problem is that most of it is really a Meta question/discussion. Presumably the question had earlier drafts that were closed as duplicates, and this new version attempts to discuss why those closings are not as similar as the closers supposed.

Which is a Politics.Meta kind of question. Ideally the question could be refined to it's minimal essentials, then reposted or revised on Politics.

An obstacle:

  • Those with enough points on Politics.Meta enough to ease such corrective procedure along would be acting as judges of themselves. Groups that act as their own judges are often prone to self-forgiveness, pettifogging, ping-pong backslapping, system-boosting, and mobbing.
  • One edit that would make to the question title is to remove the term "alienated" and substitute "Blacks" or "Black people" for "African-Americans". "alienated" is not the condition or cause of the formation of a black nation-state. "Black" people are located throughout the Earth and already have a universal flag recognized (by Black people as such) across the Earth. Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 21:24
  • @guest271314, Removed 'alienated'.
    – agc
    Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 21:33
  • "Black people" should substitute for "African-American" Pan-Africanist flag "According to the UNIA as of recent; the three Pan-African colors on the flag represent: red: the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and shed for liberation; black: black people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the existence of the flag; and green: the abundant natural wealth of Africa. The flag later became an African nationalist symbol for the worldwide liberation of people of African origin." Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 21:36
  • @guest271314, That also sounds reasonable, but I'm unsure if the resulting title wouldn't then be made too vague, ("... sovereign nation-state by blacks"), since there are extant nation-states of black people which do not meet those specific criteria the question poses.
    – agc
    Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 21:46
  • Am not aware of any nation-state which has specifically designated itself as a "nation-state of the Black people" "PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: This is our country, the state of the Jews...." Israel Passes Controversial 'Nation-State' Law. Taking it a step further, to avoid more confusion, "a nation-state founded and formed by Black people of the Black people". We do not use the language "for" here, though we could. The anticipation is that people other than Black will also become citizens. Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 21:53
  • Though "African-American" might be fitting for this particular platform. There are issues with the term "African-American" though. Would prefer to not use that term. Though there are issues with "Black people" as well, the term is far more inclusive than "African-American", where the concept is that "Black people" throughout the known universe are eligible to be citizens of and contribute to the formed nation-state; not just African-Americans. Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 21:57
  • "people of African descent in the Americas" is probably most appropriate and inclusive without being too exclusive; i.e.g., Belize (British Honduras), Canada, Brazil. One could include the Caribbean and Saint Kitts-Nevis as well; e.g., the "Underground Railroad" reached Canada. Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 23:40
  • @guest271314, Re "people of African descent in the Americas": still, it seems to imply all people who fit the bill, without consideration to their respective wishes... that is, some may prefer where they are at present. Hence the now redacted adjective "alienated", as meant to distinguish between those who feel like such a nation is a good idea and those who don't; perhaps there's some better qualifier.
    – agc
    Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 5:20

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