I have just made a difficult decision. I created this blog for several purposes, I wanted to discuss disability issues, have an avenue to air my point of view, engage in a dialogue with readers. Up until yesterday I have been thoroughly enjoying all aspects of this blog.
Then yesterday I began to get comments posted from ARRSE readers who were upset about the stance I took regarding the website. If you'd like to review, Stephen first put me on to the problem in his comment to the post I wrote 7/4/07 called Enough Said. In his comments he talked about a thread on the ARRSE site that used horrific language and abusive images of people with disabilities. I was appauled and wrote a response calling for a protest on 7/5/07 in a post called Go! Now! Start!
Several people mobilized, sent several letters of complaint, the thread was removed and the operater of the ARRSE site was very kind and very nice to deal with. To me, that was it, it was over. Then, for some reason I do not understand, ARRSE readers who took exception to our protest began writing yesterday.
Several of the posts were reasonable, asking us to think of the stress that military personnel face and making claims that indeed most of ARRSE readers and contributers were very generous when it came to disability issues. They argued that this was just an issue of dark humour arising from having seen the darker side of the human soul. This argument might well have stood, however, many of the other comments were simply abusive. These kind souls who would never hurt anyone certainly didn't hold back in trying to hurt me. Name calling, denegrating remarks about who I am and what I do, and then finally the use of ugly language regarding people with disabilities.
I was accused of editting and removing posts, which I did not do. I found leaving them up more instructive as to the true character of those corresponding than anything I could say. However, this site will not and cannot allow language that beats or berates people with disabilities to be posted on site. I have not removed those comments, leaving them there so that no one can suggest that I am fabricating their existance.
Therefore I have made the difficult decision to make it more difficult to leave comments on my blog, making it such that anonymous comments are no longer accepted. I grieve making this decision but I am unwilling to be constantly inundated with hateful email from those pretending to be the kindest of souls.
It is interesting to me that we are all asked to have a sense of humor, perhaps we all need a sense of decency as well. I stand firm on what we did in protesting the language of hate used against people with disabilities - we had a right to protest. So do they, but they do not have a right to abuse me, my readers, or people with disabilities here on this blog.