The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tipping Point

OK. Here is the crap I have to put up with. People who are ashamed of themselves and post anonymous comments say things like this:

Joe is extremely prejudiced! More so than the people he struggles to slander on a daily basis through his blog! If you don't agree with Joe, you my friend are a racist hate monger and public enemy number 1! So what does that make Joe? That's right, he is just as prejudiced as the person who puts on a white robe and burns a cross or openly speaks out against gay rights or maybe uses the "N" word. Look in the mirror Joe! Oh wait, that would be the christian thing to do.

I did not publish this comment, not because I am embarrassed at the accusation or refuse to publish opposing views, but because it is useless chatter.

First of all, why am I "extremely prejudiced?" I truly don't understand this accusation. Prejudice is "making a decision before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case or event." Unless something I post is copied (with reference) or meant to be funny, I research or confirm what I write.

Prejudice used to mean "making a judgment about a person based on their race, religion, class, etc.", but more recently has been used to describe"any unreasonable attitude that is unusually resistant to rational influence," including "race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and religion..."

I understand the people I speak out against. I understand their beliefs, their philosophies. That is why I speak out against them. If I make a broad statement about right wing Christians, for instance, it is because of their beliefs and actions that I consider wrong, but it is not because of their Christianity, per se. The problem is, they have warped Christianity into a divisive element so far removed from what Jesus must have had in mind that it is barely recognizable. But I digress.

Now this anonymous commenter may be reacting to the post he tried to comment on, or he may have read my column in today's Western Tribune and reached a tipping point, I don't know. I will post that column tomorrow, for those who do not subscribe to the paper.

It's almost laughable that I am compared to KKK members by a right winger just days after "they" tried to discredit a civil rights hero (John Lewis) for making the same comparison about certain elements of the McCain campaign. Because I am for human equality, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation and age (innate characteristics) and even religion and creed (chosen characteristics), I am considered prejudiced?

I've reached a tipping point myself. I am sick of anonymous commenters. Especially when I have a good idea who they are. And where they work. (I do wonder what they were doing in handcuffs in downtown Bessemer the other day, but my research hasn't turned up the reason).

I will find a way that is best to avoid anonymous postings, and my first attempt is using openID. When you comment, you will be required to use your google blogger name or one of several other ID's. I don't want to exclude commenters, I just want to exclude people who will not identify themselves. If you don't have any of the ID's offered, create one, I guess is my recommendation. We will see how this works. My other option is to require membership to the blog to post, but that is limited to 100 people. Well over 100 read each day, but I don't know how many would want to post comments, and only they would have to be members. Others could read, I guess. Help me out here fellow bloggers if you have suggestions.

If you find you cannot post a comment, and want to, email me...I will try to work around it either by posting your comment myself, with you name (or pseudonym) and the explanation that I am posting it for you, or change the way comments are handled.

In the meantime, continue to enjoy Bessemer Opinions where you can be entertained and educated on an almost daily basis.

5 comments:

Shia said...

Keep your head up Joe.
A lot of people see that if your are intolerant towards intolerance it is a sort of prejudice. I suppose, but its a pretty silly stance. I mean, if I were to say "People in the KKK are horrible." I would be pretty ok with that generalization, even tho there may be some young, troubled, confused kid with a good heart in the organization capable of reform or something like that.
It is ok to hate that people hate, and to fight against that. Just try not to fall into their games, its exactly what they want. Oh, I'm sorry: what SOME of them MAY want. Didn't want to be prejudiced you know.

Chris said...

Joe, if you're brave enough to let these people comment, you've already won the fight. Their words show them up as what they are, and anyone who reads them can judge. And this is an instructive process for foreigners like me!

Daniel said...

Whatever happened to first amendment rights?!? The very same folks who just scream for the alleged second amendment right to own assault rifles and tanks, but don't dare try to enjoy any freedom of speech, the press or expression that goes against their infantile minds. There is not enough ZANAX in the world that would allow me to do what you do, Joe. I'd never make it. I'm not nearly as insightful, thoughtful or as intelligent as you. And bth, I just happened to have to go to a dermatologist yesterday.
I wore, as I usually do, my OBAMA button. Wow, was that a HUGE mistake. I'd no sooner sat down to wait than I was verbally bashed by some elderly blue haired, "lady," from over-the mountain, and likely there for her botox. She just yelled out at me in the waiting room, also full of other similar blue & pink haired women, "how dare you go out and show that you're so unpatriotic!" I apologized for my poor taste, but noted that I thought that just perhaps, there might just be a whole lot of us, "unpatriotics," like Gen. Colin Powell, for example, celebrating all over this country on the evening of Nov. 4. Then, others joined in with their take on my lack of patriotism.

Trey said...

Chris, you had nothing to apologize for. I think that it would have been legitimate for them to speak to you about your choice for President, if you were willing to do so, but the kind of behavior that you encountered is antithetical to the spirit of the suposedly civil excercize of politics in Amerca. It is also disturbingly common among republicans.

Last election, a guy I knew wore a Kerry t-shirt to vote in vestavia at a voting station populated heavily by Bush supporters. I'll spare you the story, but he had to be escorted back to his car by a police officer for his own safety.

I'm pretty sure a McCain supporter could wear a shirt to the most heavily democratic voting station in Birmingham and not have any problem.

There is, in fact, a stark difference between dems and reps in that regard.

Joe Openshaw said...

Thank you all for your comments. Shia, how's school going? I'm about to finish.

Chris, I wish you could vote here.

Danny, I wear Obama shirts or buttons everyday, never a harsh word. Of course, I am in Obama country.

Trey, I am sure your comment was meant for Danny, not Chris.

For all, I had the most positive experience at Lowes yesterday with a white woman who, if I were stereotyping, would not in a million years think she would vote for Obama, but who told me she was. she was a former Hillary, now Obama supporter. In the Garden shop.