We’ve reached a new era in debate and expression of opinion in America these days. Sadly, it requires some explanation here tonight.
This post (and for the record this post is being drafted by News24/680 Editorial) replaces an earlier, posted Letter to the Editor from a reader in Walnut Creek.
For those who may have seen it during its brief life, the posted letter was critical of a local police department. While its receipt made us cringe for a number of reasons we posted the letter after telephonic confirmation was made confirming the identity of the author and a discussion over its intended messaging was conducted and affirmed. Posting such a letter is a right still available to us all as citizens of this country.
As usual, the post started to attract attention and commentary within minutes. Although some were off the mark – unfortunately also a sign of the times – none violated our terms of service requirements preventing threats or hate speech etc. and all comments were posted in a timely fashion. Others were lining up…
It was at this point that we were again contacted by the author of the letter and asked if, after his consideration, it couldn’t be published anonymously, something we do not do. When we told him so he opted to strike the letter and it was deleted from this site.
Now, in this age of Deep State conspiracy theories and parking lot punch-ups, we could see how this could trigger the usual derisive commentary we see so much of around here, some of it aimed at us. That’s okay, we’re used to it – it goes with the territory.
BUT – the bare truth of the issue is that a person wishing to express himself about an issue of importance to him was eventually dissuaded from doing so by the resultant public howl.
The merits of the thoughts expressed in the letter aside, we thought it a shame that someone could be silenced in this way, and we would counsel future correspondents to choose their words – and positions – with care, because you’ll be asked to stand by them.
We didn’t think we needed to say that but apparently, we do.