Friday, March 4, 2016

Unfriending an Abusive Commentator

I just finished a brisk conversation with a guy I "unfriended" on Facebook, filled with anger and threats. He sounded, as I told him, like a hate-filled Trump follower, though he has pretty much been a liberal, generally agreeing with me, based upon his comments over many months. He has always been abrasive to me and to others commenting on my page and I have occasionally had to ask him to tone down the personal rhetoric.

After I finally had enough--he was reacting severely to a post where I used the term "nigger" in relaying another post by somebody else who was assessing the way Republicans are treating President Obama. He insists the word is always inappropriate. I disagree. I do agree that the offending word is always ugly, but sometimes--as Mark Twain famously said--the "difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." Is it more appropriate when we simply leave out a letter or two ("n-gger," or "the N word," for example), but leave the word's power? No.

In  any case, we could have had a reasonable conversation--a sane and respecting conversation--about the use of the word, but it turned ugly and personal and he attacked me as a closet racist and insisted that my use of the word made it even more obvious that I am a racist. I have lived my life in such a way as to feel confident I don't have to defend that accusation. But I was tired of hearing the ranting, so I dismissed his commentary from my FB page, something we all have the right to do without explanation if we choose.

But he ran me down on FB Messenger and said the following:

"What a chicken-shit hypocrite. Just another blowhard that 'takes his ball and goes home' when someone has the nerve to pull the curtain back on the high and mighty Smith. What a piece of shit. Stay tuned, I'll be 'commenting' on you daily." That was followed by: "You're a closeted racist HAS BEEN. Stay tuned....I'll be punking you on a daily basis."

I suggested that since he had now publicly announced his intention to slander me, he might want to consult a lawyer, but he declared he'd take his chances. Meanwhile, I'm archiving his comments. I will not mention his name here because I do not want to embarrass him. Who knows what led to this latest outburst? Hatred of me and what I stand for is likely part of it, but I suspect there is more. As I said to him, I hope he finds peace and resolution.

1 comment:


    You have to be careful, vocabulary is a hot button issue and lots of people in this social media age just want an excuse for outrage. What I don't understand (and you are among many people)is why you want to protect the identity of someone who is abusive towards you when they are perfectly willing to slander and defame you. It's a strange kind of polite mannerism that occurs with more middle class types (based on my experiences). There are other examples that may, or may not be related. I've seen this when hearing stories about someone who sees a crime in progress and they won't take action because "it's impolite" maybe not a great example but if you start to dig on this one you may understand what I am trying to express.