After many years as an author and commenter on my favorite progressive website, OpEdNews.com, for the first time I have been RE-FLAGGED -- or at least a comment of mine got that treatment. Here is what happened: there was a response to a comment I made which attacked my choice of color for my comments, namely red, as telling a great deal about me. While I have no idea what that really means, I do dislike psychobabble, so I commented back that the choice of the commenter s computer name and oil painting image said a lot about her. All of this was petty, and perhaps even spiteful, and definitely trivial -- but, still, sometimes that is what Free Expression is all about. So be it.
Then, nearly a week later, for the very first time, an OpEdNews.com editor RE-FLAGGED my comment, as follows:
The reason for your re-flagging is: Inappropriate Content --
This is escalating a personal attack by suggesting where a commenter has erred and telling her what to do.
So, it seems that while an original comment is fair game for psychobabble attack, a satiric response in the same tone is unacceptable. I did not even know that OpEdNews.com has an editorial Political Correctness Police until this incident. It would seem that double standards in such matters are acceptable, so that it is OK to launch personal attacks on commenters on pseudo-psychological grounds, but it is not OK to make a satiric response to such personal attacks. That seems like sort of a double standard, does it not? Or is this just a tempest in a teapot?
My own hope is to nip the editorial Political Correctness Police in the bud, so to speak. A progressive website should not inhibit Free Expression or Free Speech or Fair Comment by such RE-FLAGGING, unless there are really persuasive grounds for doing so. I have been called a warmonger and an idiot and even worse here on OpEdNews.com, and I have taken exception to such personal attacks. Still, I do respect the attackers right to make them -- let each of us be judged by our own comments, rather than having them filtered out by a PCP.
Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)