This Ain’t Your Public Forum
I just got a few more slams from people claiming that I’m biased. After reading post after post of how I see that the black community suffers the most from America’s racial disparity or how people in positions of leadership in this country would rather go half way around the world to help a child from a family of meager means in Iraq get medical care for disfiguring burns before they would offer help the poor right here in America’s backyard get something resembling medical care, there are people who are just coming to the realization that I have an opinion that I’m willing to argue for it and defend it. I wonder what finally gave me away and actually clued them in.
Now I also believe that people are entitled to their opinion, even the people who insist on being wrong and want to disagree with me. And if people want to engage me in a discussion with their differing opinion, they are more than welcome. Lord knows I’ve entertained more than my fair share of people who are intent on trying to get me to convert to the other side of thinking. A few names that I can recall are Destructive Feedback, Interracial Power, Regular Brother, Carlton, Stephen Frazier, Charlie, and others have come here arguing that my opinions are flat out wrong and that I need to repent my unorthodox way of thinking. And with some of these people, I’ve even tried to agree to disagree. But people who practice intolerance don’t tolerate people who disagree with them and will attack dissenters on their own blog.
It’s been well more than three years since I’ve started doing this blogging thing. Back when I started, I would have published each and every comment that came my way no matter how much I may have disagreed with the statement. Unless the comment was nothing but a hate filled rant of obscenities, it would’ve gotten published. I thought I owed that to my visitors. I think I threw that line of thinking out the window about six months after I started. A lot of people are rude and crude and really don’t know how to appreciate the fact that they, more often than not, are guest on other people’s little corner of the internet. Some of these people who disagree with me will challenge my intelligence or my integrity or whatever else they can say to try and get my goat.
Consequently, I’ve come to think that I really don’t have to put up with these people if I don’t want to. My blog is not meant to be a public forum where every Tom, Dick, and Harpo can come and say whatever negative comment crosses their mind. My blog is meant to be the one place on the entire internet where I can come and say my piece without harassment from others. I don’t have a problem with people coming here to disagree with me. That’s not the type of harassment I’m referring to. The harassment I’m talking about comes in the form of people who come here not to discuss matters in a civil, respectful manner but with a manner that more likely resembles malice and derision. And then these people not only expect me to post their comments, but will demand it, as if I’m violating their civil rights.
If people want to exercise their right to free speech and express themselves on the internet then they are more than welcome to do so. I will defend people’s right to say what they feel regardless if somebody else might find their speech offensive. But people have to remember that their free speech doesn’t mean that they have complete access to say whatever they want wherever they want. And one of those places where people have limited say just so happens to be my blog. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ve put a lot of time and energy into developing and maintaining my blog. I take my blog very seriously and I maintain the right to decline any comment I don’t want on my blog. And if people don’t like it, they’re free to write whatever they want to say about it on their own website.
So to all of those people who have gotten upset because they thought that this site was supposed to be some public soap box where anybody can stand in line for his or her turn at this microphone all I can say is that I am not even remotely sorry about disappointing you. If I don’t care for you or your comment then chances are nobody who comes here will see your comment. That’s just one of the many ways I get to exercise my freedom of speech here on my blog. If you want a forum where you can say anything you want without being harassed by anyone else, I suggest that you quit wasting your time demanding to be published. Quit trying to hijack somebody else’s forum and start your own. That’s what I would do if I was in your shoes.