Someone just published an article on Thought Catalog about how she won’t write for Thought Catalog because she doesn’t want to write for the same site as a captivating but sometimes offensive writer, Jim Goad. Follow your heart babe, do whatever you want to do but writing for the same site as a person is literally meaningless. No one assumes an author personally approves of every book published by their publisher. That’s ludicrous.
I honestly can’t think of something someone could say that would make me want to stop writing and publishing on the same site as them. I’m scrolling through the worst possible offenses here, but no matter how dark and twisted someone’s brain is, I’m always in favor of them talking about it.
How else can I understand people who seem to be racist, sexist, hateful, whatever except to listen to what they are saying. If people don’t understand them, there is zero chance of them ever getting better. They’re not going to disappear into a cave and have a divine conversion experience, the only thing that has ever worked to this end is dialogue–talking and sharing experiences that help you understand what it’s like to be another person.
Wanting to censor people who disagree with you does nothing but push people who disagree with you underground. That and piss them off, making them a hell of a lot less likely to be open to changing whatever opinions or behaviors you find offensive. (Or, in this case, it pushes your opinion underground since it will no longer be a voice here.) This is exactly the opposite of your wish for the readers here and for the cultural conversation we are having about the issues you care about.
There is so much more to be gained from dialogue than from silence. Iron sharpens iron. The hard times in your life make you a better person. Reading opinions that are different from your own is medicine. It imbibes you with the knowledge of why your opponents think the way they do, and gives that person a positive experience with the kind of opinion they are running in fear of.
To me, all conversations are exciting. If someone disagrees with me, it’s an opportunity to get to the bottom of something I’m curious about–why would anyone not agree with my opinion. I obviously have tons of cause to believe it’s the right opinion or I wouldn’t hold it. How can they be crunching the same numbers and getting a different answer? This is fascinating stuff here. Let’s embrace it.