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First of all, let me say that I think there are many passionate and committed progressives in the community.  I believe that no matter where we align ourselves with respect to any given debate, most here are actively engaged in making our world a better and more compassionate place.  I also believe most of us know that while we may argue, even passionately, over the issues of the day; there are times and situations that require us to look beyond our partisan positions because of our shared humanity.

Recently, a well respected member of this community wrote a diary in which she summarized an exchange she had with me in which she talked about the very difficult choices she is faced with due to cancer.  She said that the new paradigm of austerity in Washington, and the potential new cuts to entitlement programs she relies on to pay for her medical treatments would make her situation even more dire.

I didn't respond back to her immediately, because I didn't know how to talk about such a real crisis in a forum such as this.  When I finally did get back to her, I thanked her for sharing her story with me.  I also hope that she understands that no matter where and how we may differ politically, I wish her nothing but the best.  I also would like to apologize to her for any pain my words may have caused her.  Though I was engaging with her sincerely during our exchange, I certainly didn't mean for my words to make her feel badly.  While I can argue as passionately as the next person here (and I certainly won't apologize for that),  I recognize that there are times when we all have to stop and remember that whoever we're engaging with is a human being.

Unfortunately, a few members of this community failed to remember this.  There is a diary on the recommended this right now calling for trusted members of this community to hide rate a comment by a member of this community who couldn't let it go.  Many in this community were rightfully offended by the hypocrisy of scoring cheap political points with the charge that the aforementioned community member was using her cancer diagnosis to score cheap political points.  Many members of the community registered their disapproval in the comment thread which is now only visible to trusted users.  Some of the comments in that thread where made by very well respected members of this community and articulated exactly what was offensive about this comment in a manner that was respectful not only of the standards of this community, but also of the idea of compassion.  Other comments, however, did not.

There were at least two comments in that thread that wished death upon the person who made the originally offending comment.  One of them predicted that Christ would strike this user down for being evil.  Another wished death upon this user unless he learned the error of this ways.  I won't link to those comments because I don't wish to inflame this situation any longer.  All I'd like to say is that while I agree that many in this community were rightfully offended by those who couldn't rise above petty bickering, I also don't believe that people should wish death upon others and then call that compassion.

Originally posted to fou on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by The Yes We Can Pragmatists and Progressive Messaging.


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Comment Preferences

  •  interesting. I had my own issue with (13+ / 0-)

    the well respected member you're referring to, which I handled badly at first, and then maybe a little better when I'd thought about it.  I mirrored your apology to that user, and with similar reasoning.

    but, speaking as someone who shares a lot of my actual real world self in my comments, doing so can be , for the reasons exposed in the last couple of days.

    it can definitely be taken as 'point scoring' or what have you.  I've warned people against using unmentionable topics as clubs or shields on here, and I do stand by that warning, in the main.  it makes no sense to me to invoke a topic upon which you will brook no discussion.

    it's a very fine line one walks when sharing of themselves on a site like this.

    "I'm Black and I'm proud, I'm ready, I'm hype, plus I'm amped/ most of my heroes don't appear on no stamp!" ~Carlton Ridenhour

    by mallyroyal on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 09:14:50 AM PDT

    •  "dicey" is the missing word there lol: (8+ / 0-)
      but, speaking as someone who shares a lot of my actual real world self in my comments, doing so can be dicey, for the reasons exposed in the last couple of days.

      "I'm Black and I'm proud, I'm ready, I'm hype, plus I'm amped/ most of my heroes don't appear on no stamp!" ~Carlton Ridenhour

      by mallyroyal on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 09:15:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I believe that in the end you handled (6+ / 0-)

      the situation with grace and dignity, mallyroyal.  While your comments were intemperate in the original diary, you gave us a shining example of how to rectify that situation with your apology.  Nicely done.

      I agree that there is much to be cautious about when sharing personal information in a political context.  It requires a thick skin and a willingness to overlook some of the abuse that might come your way.  There is no way to foresee what your sharing will unleash, as the anonymity and inability to hear the voice and reading the emotions, the body language and so forth on the intertoobz can unleash strange responses for which you are not prepared to deal.  So caution is always a good thing.

      I want to thank you again for the way you handled yourself in the end.  It was classy, and much appreciated.

      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

      by Got a Grip on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:54:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. Dallasdoc's diary was like the prom (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kishik, Imhotepsings, vcmvo2

    scene out of the movie "Carrie".

  •  The original diary was a personal tale (0+ / 0-)

    It strayed into the waters of a policy discussion, but it was clearly the kind of personal tale that should just be answered with sympathy, if not empathy.

    Ultimately, though, the DK community as a whole fools itself about the level of compassion that exists here.  I cringe when I imagine the rec-list diaries that would have been written had the story of Obama's policies screwing a woman with cancer been posted on Red State.

    For example, the diarist complained about being in "the donut hole."  No credit was given to the ACA for reducing drug costs by 50% while in this "hole."  I assumed that the reason was that this relief doesn't really make anything that much better for the diarist.  I read an implied, "Thanks... for nothing," from the diarist.

    For this reason, and the fact that a policy debate seemed like an inconsiderate response to the diary, I didn't bring it up.

    But oh, had this been on Red State, we would see scathing reproach of the diarist here.  "How dare she spread more lies about the ACA?" we would ask.

    A lot of people here think that the inclusiveness of tribalism is somehow the same as loving one another.  I don't know if they will ever understand the difference.

    Harboring resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.

    by The Red Pen on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:25:29 AM PDT

  •  Thank you, fou, (8+ / 0-)

    for how you wrote what you wrote here about me and our exchange from the other evening and my inclusion of it in my thread.  I'm grateful.  I do understand, now, that your intention wasn't to hurt me with your comments.  

    (I wish I could say that I believed that about all the comments that I've seen written about me over the last several days, but I have serious doubts.)  

    That said, emotions are on overdrive around here these days and have been for awhile.  It's difficult navigating the waters.  

    I've let this go and I sincerely hope you have as well.

    Be well.  

    Ancora Imparo. ("I am still learning.") - Michelangelo, Age 87

    by Dreaming of Better Days on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:48:23 AM PDT

    •  I wish you all the best, DoBD. I too have been (6+ / 0-)

      accused of being hateful because I rec'd a diary others insist was a response to yours. I didn't read or see your diary until all hell had broken loose. Neither did I know  - nor do I now believe = that Troub's diary was in response to your challenges.
      But in any case, when all is said and done, the vast majority of us on here are here because we believe in a philosopy which puts people above things. We claim that we really care about the human being and desperately want to better each life rather than just the lives of the most fortunate among us. We have to practice what we preach on the micro level even as we fight for the big things.
      Compassion should not be limited to only those we agree with.
      Sending positive thoughts and love your way.

      Save Troy Davis! Go to and let your voice be heard. Please!

      by JoanMar on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 11:52:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I appreciate this, JoanMar. (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joedemocrat, fou, JoanMar, DMiller, guyeda, PhilJD

        I glanced through the diarist's thread that your referring briefly just before logging off early Tuesday morning.  Quite honestly, I felt slapped and slapped hard.  I thought it best that I log off and rest, given I was already exhausted.  I thought I'd try to regroup in the morning and see if I had actually read what I thought I read.

        Low and behold the title had been changed from it's original, 'You're Done? ROFL' to 'Progress is Never Finished' and he changed the wording in one of the sentences that had originally read:

        I can't even conceive of being "done," the way the word is being thrown around, but it sure does sound like a boring way to rehearse being dead.

        If he hadn't read my thread as he claims in his comments there, I will say it is a very, very remarkable coincidence.

        Troubadour, the diarist, and I have had 2 separate exchanges here in the past - once when he posted a thread titled '"You Make Me Sick' which included a link to a Wiki page describing an offensive video, its background and notoriety and comparing the revulsion he feels towards the folks here who've been less than pleased with some of the political decisions that've been made, myself included, with the revulsion he feels for the offensive video.

        I responded to a comment in the comment thread of that diary here, which including Troubadour's response to me:

        And then again the following day when he posted a thread titled, 'Trolls Accuse Me of a Federal Crime . . . .'  I posted this comment in that thread, assuming, correctly or incorrectly, that his posting it may have been, at least in some small part, directed at me because of my exchange with him the day before.

        Now maybe he's got some negative feelings towards me about these exchanges and maybe not.  Just as he keeps claiming in his thread - it all may just be a very, very strange coincidence and misunderstanding.  

        I do not know and I'll never know for certain, but I can certainly say that it appears horribly strange and I can fully understand why his thread is being scrutinized as severely as it is.  I've chosen deliberately not to participate and will continue.

        I'd never tell anyone what to recommend or not recommend, JoanMar.  Sincere thanks for your good thoughts.


        Ancora Imparo. ("I am still learning.") - Michelangelo, Age 87

        by Dreaming of Better Days on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 12:39:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for the apology, fou. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou, vcmvo2, joedemocrat, DMiller, guyeda

    We all step in it from time to time.  We should all be willing to make amends when we hurt someone, whether or not it was intentional.  So thank you.

    I also agree that some of the responses to the offending comments posted yesterday were offensive, as well.  Being offended and angry is one thing, but there is no excuse for wishing death or vengeance from God on someone, no matter how offensive their behavior.  Donuts are one thing, wishing death and destruction is something unacceptable.

    You and mallyroyal have handled yourselves admirably.  Others, on both sides of this issue, not so much.

    "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

    by Got a Grip on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 11:00:10 AM PDT

  •  I should also add (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joedemocrat, DMiller

    that while I'm not a fan of diaries that call for pile-ons, I felt this one appropriate.  Sometimes bad behavior calls for extraordinary remedies.  This was one of those times.

    But I fully understand the point of those that disagree on this, and I wish them well.  I only ask that we all try to raise our level of respect for one another during these trying times.

    "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

    by Got a Grip on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 11:03:39 AM PDT

  •  I found this comment of yours interesting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou, JoanMar, second gen
    I also don't believe that people should wish death upon others

    There is one place on DK where it is ok to wish death on others, when the others are people who hunt animals. I've seen it multiple times without hrs

    Death, disfigurement, torture, dismemberment all ok.

    "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 11:22:30 AM PDT

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