Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Difficult Decision

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.


Debra said...

I am so thankful that I was not reading a blog about this being your last blog entry or invite only readers. I so enjoy your writing. My son is in the military and he would not use this kind of language to "release" his presure. He would go work out at the gym or something. Sorry you have had such a reaction but that being said usually when people know that they are wrong at what they are doing the conviction seems to cause them to lash out at the one speaking the truth.

Thanks again for your blog. I so enjoy it.

Michelle said...

I'm glad to see that you're not shutting down the blog, but merely not allowing anon comments.

As for the excuse of it being because of military stress?! That's just BS and an excuse to hide behind. My husband is military, my father was military, my husband's father was military, I grew up on military bases all my life...that is not a reason for the rude comments they were making over there; it's their personality to blame, not the military.

Kei said...

Phew! I too was hoping you were not telling us this was your last.
I find your blog part of my regular blog-reading.

Thank you!

Unknown said...

Boy I was scared to keep reading too! I was afraid you were packing up your keyboard and going home!

Now who do you think I thought of this morning as I sat in the dentist chair... knowing full well I was getting the needle and drill? I too do not relish dental visits. We've never met, wouldn't know each other if passing in the airport... but I thought of you!

As for the other "posters" I wouldn't worry too much. They'll crawl back to the hole from whenst they came....bullies usually do. I really feel sorry for them. If they feel lashing out at innocent people helps ease their pain... then they've got a heckuva lot more pain coming their way. I'm glad I'm not them.

Thanks again for being here!

Dave Hingsburger said...


I wrote this blog after getting a deluge of posts regarding the thread about disability on the website. Since that time I have engaged in real conversation and dialogue with two really nice guys from the ARRSE website. They talked good sense and were both clearly very kind and very concerned about people with disabilities. I found the discussion helpful and interesting. If you are interested in seeing the discussion please go to the post referred to here Go! Now! Start! and slide through to the end. Joe H. and A. N. Arrser and I actually talk. They are cool guys. Some of the earlier posts are name calling which I'd like to point out stopped completely when discussion began. I'm revising my point of view about ARRSE and think that if you read the discussion you may too.

Dave Hingsburger

imfunnytoo said...

Thanks so much for leaving the blog running...the decision not to allow anonymous comments was tough I'm sure..