Monday, September 07, 2009

Racism and Anonymity

I was having a conversation with Jack, and the subject of racism kept cropping up.

At one point, Jack said:
Or the ones who complain that the News-Leader prints too many pictures of Black people.

I replied:
Oh, and let me say that the comments section of the News-Leader is a gathering of some of the most foul and undesirable people on the planet. There are people that don't fit that mold, but I don't understand why they participate. The anonymity of that message board is destructive and distortive. The majority of those people refuse to use any sort of respect for other people or even the English language. Please do not base either your perceptions of the right OR the left on anonymous forums of that sort.

People that spew forth hate, calling names and condemning entire people groups don't really deserve to be listened to... They should not be silenced by the Government, but they should not be listened to by citizens. The best thing to do to a racist is ignore their filth. There are racists in both the major parties. It's just as racist to claim that people need more assistance based upon the color of their skin as it is to claim that certain skin colors have limitations on their potential.

Generally speaking, I do not think that the comments section of the News-Leader assists in the purpose of Journalism. If the citizens of Springfield want to have a dialog about the issues of our community, they should be capable of that under their real names. Anonymity should not be squashed by the Government by any means, but I think it is damaging the debate. If I ran a forum for public discourse, I would not allow anonymous commenters.

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