This blog doesn’t get a ton of comments – the most active posts tend to be the ones leading up to this weeks Nonprofit Technology Conference. But I’ve been getting a bunch lately that I’ve decided not to post, as comments, at least. So this is to clarify the comment policy, and respond to some borderline conversational/offensive comments left in the last day or so.
Comments are moderated here, mainly in order to weed out the obvious spam that slips through my Akismet filter on occasion. I don’t publish spam or link spam, so if you’re one of the people leaving innocuous comments about my writing style, note that I don’t believe that you’re sincere, and I won’t publish your link to your viagra site.
But the comments I received this week aren’t spam. Instead, they appear to be the work of someone looking to provoke me. They’re in reply to my post “The Offensive Bardwell Defense“, in which I spoke about segregation, my marriage, and the legal battle to allow same sex marriage underway. The first message was easy to ignore, because it was pure vitriol, equating my interracial marriage with numerous controversial sex acts. The writer, one “DMTS” of gmail, followed that up with a more measured comment that, while continuing to make personal comments about my marital status, argued that, while it’s fine for me to “hook up” with people of non-white ancestry, I have no right to blog about it. “Don’t ask, don’t tell”, as it were. The full comment went:
“Peter Campbells marriage (if still intact) is just an exception to the way things really work in mixed marriages. I don’t want to deny him any success or happiness with his nice wife and child pictured (great pic btw), but he does not have any rights defending something that is clearly wrong for the majority, when he is in the minority of working mixed marriages(for now). If I hook up with a different race partner, I will just do it, and not advertise it as normal, or make a big deal and use someones legit comment as a scapegoat. WHO CARES ANYWAY PETER? no one is making laws that specify you can’t hook up with dreadlocks, beehives, or skinheads, so what are you worried about? when has anyone persecuted mixed racials? sounds to me you are looking to MAKE TROUBLE by drawing sympathy to yourself that is totally unjustified. Blog about something else that is important, like what your son is planning to do with his future, to help make this a better world without blog script shills making trouble for all races. Shalom”
I’d point out two things to Mr. (I presume) DMTS. The first is that, while he can suggest that my marriage is some kind of exception to the rule, I’m not aware of any evidence that it is. Divorce is rampant in this country, but I’ve never seen a statistic that suggests that it’s higher among interracial couples than same race. Mr. Bardwell didn’t cite any statistics for his assumptions, either.
The second thing I’d point out is that DMTS completely missed my point. I used my interracial marriage, and interracial marriage in general, to point out that the same sex marriage debate underway in this country is a parallel, and, as with interracial marriage in the 60’s, the bigots, of whom I assume DMTS counts himself among, are going to lose the battle. He seems to have skimmed my message and misread my conclusion that this type of bigotry — be it about race or sexual orientation — will be overcome. It’s a slow process. It clearly still exists, as DMTS chooses to illustrate. But, today, his attitudes and comments are sad. In 30 years time, they’ll be outrageous. Racism and hatred/bigotry based on assumptions about race (or race relations) is on the wane. Interracial marriage is now accepted in the U. S.. It’s a slower course for a lot of the institutionalized racism in our schools and justice system. But most of the vitriol comes from old, white men, and two trends are clear: whites as a percentage of our population are shrinking, and old people will die sooner than the more enlightened young ones.
As to publishing comments like this: I’m interested in dialogue, and if DMTS responds to this with something that doesn’t use language that I wouldn’t want my Mom (who reads this blog) to see, I’ll certainly approve it. If he provides some backing for his unverified claims that interracial (“mixed” is an offensive term) marriages are at higher risk of failure than same race marriages, a claim that I find very suspect and unlikely, I might even reply. But if DMTS actually isn’t invested in his arguments, and is just trying to get a rise out of me, it only takes a second to mark a comment as spam. And rude, unconstructive conversation, like DMTS’s first message, which I will not publish, is spam here; that’s the policy.