I have learned many things in the past couple of days. One of them being, controversy is good for ratings. I had 669 hits yesterday which is a lot for me. That’s like Freshly Pressed kinda hits, well not quite but still it’s a lot!
Thank you all for the conversation in the Comments section of yesterday’s blog. The remarks ran the gamut from defending the caption more than even I would (mostly because it wasn’t that important to me either way) to a “so what” sort of attitude to very heated opposition to the caption to the embracing of “political correctness” to a degree which I find stifling.
I think if I had posted something nasty about the Pope, Republicans, white men, the Tea Party, etc… that would have been alright with many of the readers who were so aggrieved by the terrorist caption. I do think there is a double standard. That is a post for another time.
I’m not going to issue a blanket mea culpa for the terrorist caption. I don’t think the caption was racist, although I will cop to stupid, offensive, thoughtless, those sorts of adjectives. My intent was not to hurt anyone, it was just joking around. That being said, just because it wasn’t my intent to hurt or offend anyone doesn’t mean I didn’t. And I am sorry for that.
Regular readers of this blog know that I’m not a racist and I generally try not to offend anyone. I can’t say I never will but I don’t often go out of my way to be offensive. (That’s just covering my ass, in case I have gone out of my way to offend someone and if I did, I bet I had good reason.)
There were a LOT of comments on my blog yesterday and I appreciate every one of them. A couple stuck out for me and I would like to share them.
This one is from Katalina .
“Hi Maggie, first time commenting here on your site, though I’ve been following for a while – lovely to meet you.
I applaud you for opening up this subject for debate – to be open to ideas is, I think, all any of us can really hope for.
For the last 19 1/2 years I’ve been the mother of a mixed-race child, and I have often been taken to task by my in-laws about using the wrong word, or for subtleties in conversation that were perceived as racist. And for the first 4 or 5 or 7 or maybe more years, I was so defensive, arguing my side to anyone who would listen. Until eventually I settled down and thought maybe I could just stop reacting and try really really hard to imagine what it would be like to be inside someone else’s head, someone else’s skin….and to imagine walking out the front door every day as that person, and how I would feel about comments or vocabulary or jokes.
I believe it is an ongoing process, never finished. We are all always getting better at being empathic human beings, better able to understand the lives of others.
I’m sure many commenters were trying to convey the same message to me but Katalina’s struck me right in the heart. “We are all always getting better at being empathic human beings, better able to understand the lives of others.”
I wrote yesterday’s post because I wanted to have the conversation. I invited criticism. At 48 and hopefully at 58 and 68 etc. I will continue to learn and grown and be a better human being.
The second comment is from my friend Madame Weebles. Weebs and I often disagree and there have been times that I have just had to not read her blog and I’m sure times she had to tune me out. She and I are honest and respectful of our differences. Weebs wrote, “It’s not about censorship, it’s about being mindful of how our speech and actions can affect others. This country was built on the ideal of respect for others as much as it was built on free speech.” I like the word “mindful”. According to Webster’s, “mindful” is defined as “being inclined to be aware.” It’s a good word. This country was built on respecting each others differences. The terrorist comment was not mindful of that.
Bottom line, the comment wasn’t offensive to me but I know that others found it to be so. It is clearly a bigger deal to some than it is to me. It was in poor taste. It didn’t add to the narrative in any way. As for readers who will not be satisfied until I concede that the comment was racist. Sorry, I can’t help you. And as always, I may lose followers for this and that bums me out but I can’t be all things to all people. This is just who I am and some may like it and some may not and I’m good with that.
I can assure you that going forward, I will be far more mindful of what I write and I will be sure, before I publish, that my words are something I’m willing to defend. I have deleted the photo from the wedding post but I will leave it in yesterday’s post as that post is to promote discussion of the topic.
As for the survey results,
- 14 votes for Maggie’s writing being practically perfect in every way. Not surprising, right?
- 13 votes for Maggie is an unfeeling cad (caddette). I can see that
- 12 other votes. I need more survey experience because I want to know what the other voters were thinking. Is there a way to get that info?
- 3 NSA workers who have already read this post.
- 1 vote for telling on me to the NSA who have already told on me to themselves.
Thank you all for this conversation. I am always open to being called out on my writing. Next week we will return to our regularly scheduled blogging which could cover fascinating topics like my first golf lesson, this weekend’s garage sale, or Brigid’s 8th grade graduation.
“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”