On a blog, the blackmail worked.
First they came for….
Wanted for crimes against the gay community. Wanted for repeatedly conducting outing witch hunts against gays who do not believe in radical liberal anti-American ideals. For repeated violations of privacy of gay Americans. For conducting systematic civil liberties attacks on gay Americans.
WANTED! Letâ€™s do something about these gay terrorists who have infected our community with their hatred and self-loathing bigotry of gay Americans who wish to live their lives in peace.
[WANTED: GAY TERRORISTS - GayPatriot - 03-25-05]
For these words the author was threatened. The threat was sufficient, and the voice was silenced.
For personal and professional reasons that I am unable to fully discuss, I have to stop blogging as GayPatriot effective immediately.
The threat? Forced outing. I know there’s all sorts of different thoughts on being gay, or how out to be, but that is not the point. John Aravosis (Americablog) and Michael Rogers (BlogActive) have made threats, blackmailing, to silence someone with whom they disagree. This is wrong. This is why I have quoted what appears to be the offending post, or what little of it I could find in the article. I will mirror it as soon as I find the original, whether or not I agree with it.
Things to think about here.
- These people are making threats to silence dissent.
Maybe if it was something more Roy Cohn-ish it might have made sense, maybe not. In this case it is simply threats made and executed to silence a blogger.(Update: This is too facile. Too complex a subject and I haven’t thought it through.)
- Blackmailers and other unsavory types like this will continue to use the lever of power until it breaks. GP, to my guess, has a short time to control the unmasking of his particular secret before it will be unmasked anyway–so make the most of it while you can, buddy. These clowns, or an ugly other, will out you soon enough for general principles. The best way to deal with blackmailers is to rip the bandaid–release the information yourself with your own explanation of why and what–but that’s a painful rip, indeed.
- I met Congressman Ed Schrock once. He seemed like a pretty good guy with knowledge of the Navy (retired captain) that would have been useful in the House. Apparently he had a secret and it was used against him in precisely this manner. In my security clearance interviews they ask embarrassing questions like this (“Are you gay? Do you use drugs? How much do you gamble, anyway?”) because they’re trying to figure out if you’re blackmailable. Do you have a secret? Is it worth keeping, or does it cost you more than it’s worth?
This is part of being a free man. I wish GP the best, despite not knowing much about him–I hope he makes the hard choice and gets back on line when he can.
Update: more here.
Maybe GayPatriot went too far with the gay terrorist post. But if the link posted above is correct, then Michael Rogers has more than overstepped.
The press has power and certainly we in the blogosphere are seeing that the wave of new media is effecting public opinion and policy. With any power comes responsibility. To quote the article above, “Free speech isn’t free of consequences.” Those of us who chose to enter the fray understand that. However, vindictive attacks made with malice are not free speech nor activism. They do nothing to further the great debate going on in this country. Acts such as these are the work of a bully who has no cogent arguement(sic).
The answer to speech with which you disagree is more speech.
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