It is not often that I will angrily reply to what a respondent of one of my articles will opine, but in this case I must do so. In response to my Ron Paul piece, it was this one that had me see red.
I will include who he is since his response is a public one in which he wrote, “Trust…I have no trust in this author and (IMO) you shouldn't either. I refuse to read her writing because I am convinced that she is full of sh*t and very well may be here to spread disinformation and dissension among us. And I now call for an opednews membership boycott of Mary MacElveen. Let's peacefully show her that such nonsense will not be encouraged here. Please join me….by rcg”
In all of the seven years since I have been writing albeit without pay, I have always stood in support of the United States Constitution and especially the first amendment.
I have always thought that progressive sites and individuals were one of tolerance and not blatant hostility.
To engage others in any boycott in which a differing opinion is not tolerated goes against the very bed rock in which this country was founded upon.To do so, is besmirching our troops as well. Many of our soldiers do believe that they are off fighting for our freedoms and one of those freedoms is freedom of speech and expression. It is the freedom to peacefully assemble even in cyberspace. You, Sir, are besmirching every single soldier that has died in both Iraq and Afghanistan. You are besmirching every soldier that has died in past wars. You are defiling the spirits of our founders.
In the movie, "The American President" the fictional president, Andrew Shepherd (played by Michael Douglas) states of free speech, "You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say, "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating, at the top of his lungs, that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free, then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest." Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free."That is the very essence of free speech.
While in the past I have never agreed with the likes of Ann Coulter, I have never partaken in any boycott of her. She has just as much right to say what she wants as do I. This is the United States of America and not a communist country.
If you do not like what a writer has to say, the answer is don’t read what he or she has written. It is that plain and that simple. The same goes for radio and television broadcasts. But, one should never lead a group of people to boycott what someone says or writes.
To this responder, frankly, I do not care what you have to say. The ones that I do care about are the many hundreds of people that I have heard from over these past seven years. Such as people within the military, their families, veterans, those without healthcare, those that afraid of losing their jobs and the list is endless. Many of them have reached out to me asking if I can be of some assistance. Try as I might, I cannot help everyone, but there are some that I have gone that extra mile. I will give you one example, there was this man whose Social Security funds were about to be cut in half and he wrote to me stating that he wanted to commit suicide by either his gun or stepping in front of a running train. I reached out to him to immediately contact a professional to help him through his pain. He never did commit suicide.
Speaking of emails, I have even received death threats. In reaction to one of my Virginia Tech articles, a man wrote back to me, “Cho should have killed you” You try living with that.
While I do not take part in any active debate of how responders are reacting to my pieces, there are countless emails that I do receive and their stories would break your heart. Those are the people I care for the most.
Author’s note: My email address is, firstname.lastname@example.org