I spotted this on a long and heated Facebook discussion of free speech and Freeze Peach (and the conflation of attack with disagreement, and the duty to educate people who keep uttering familiar backlash tropes over and over again, and the need or desire to have more interesting and productive discussions as opposed to squandering time educating people in the basics ad infinitum, and other related subjects), and it got my attention.
And so the dance continues. Free speech in regard to government is not the issue, but the ability to discuss all ideas and opinions without censorship, regardless if they make us uncomfortable or particularly disagreeable. I’ve no issue with someone not holding to my opinions or agreeing with whatever facts I put out in any given course of debate. I don’t even necessarily mind being told I can no post on someone’s personal blog. What I do mind is when my points of view are met with personal attacks or being told I deserve to have acid thrown in my face.
Well naturally; who wouldn’t mind being told that?
Wait. What? Has anyone ever told Al Stefanelli he deserves to have acid thrown in his face? Ever? I’ve certainly never heard of it – and it’s not the kind of thing that decent people say. It would be a surprising and non-routine thing to happen. If it did happen, wouldn’t the people who spend all day on Twitter blaming “FTBullies” for everything except the weather have told us all about it at least seven million times? Wouldn’t it be its own hashtag by now? Wouldn’t we all know about it?
I don’t think anyone has ever told Al Stefanelli that. I think he must have remembered that someone said that to someone, and confabulated that into someone saying it to him.
Which is pretty pathetic from my point of view, because you know who the someone is who was told that? I am. I was told that. Not Al Stefanelli; me. I was told it would be an improvement, too.
Interesting, isn’t it? They’ll not only deny that we get any harassment, not only endlessly insist that it’s not harassment it’s just disagreement aka criticism – they’ll even steal the actual harassment and pretend it was done to them.
Update: I was wrong, it did happen to Al Stefanelli. Details on the follow-up post.