I came to Facebook today to find several vituperative denunciations of me using the foulest language & vilest accusations because I oppose the Assad dictatorship, his bombing of his own people, & all foreign military intervention into Syria.
Several people wrote long screeds explaining why I was wrong on Syria & should be supporting Assad as a victim of US regime change politics. Others denounced me for deleting those long screeds.
How many times do I have to say I don’t run a debating society? If anyone wants to read the mountains of rightwing, libertarian, Stalinist, confusionist defenses of Assad, I can refer you to any number of sources, some of them quite prominent. But you are not going to dump that stuff on my wall. This is not a place for rubbish disposal.
Discussion over differences is important & I value that. But if you support Assad & his military allies bombing the hell out of Syria, those are not mere differences. They are irreconcilable, including through debate. Things would just get rancorous in that FB kind of way & that’s not useful. If you look at a photo of a little boy & call him a shill for the US Pentagon, that is not a mere difference but an irreconcilable vision of reality & pardon me if I don’t want to go there.
By nature, I’m a peace-loving woman & detest conflict. But women in politics have to expect getting roughed up in ways that men will never face. Cry me a river, but it’s political chump change to be called scum, an “orientalist sow,” vomit-inducing, stupid, a parrot, & all the other crap I’ve heard. You know what’s worse? Calling a little war-traumatized boy a shill for US bombers. And what’s far more important is that there are human beings on the front lines of violence in Syria, Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, the US Black community, & elsewhere. So a little name-calling isn’t going to bring anyone to their knees.
If you want to fight dirty, I can do that too. That’s why I make such profligate use of the block button. Many object to being blocked & want to continue abusing me on my wall under the guise of discussion. Yeah right!
As a postscript, let me add that debate about Syria could not be more important. But FB is not a suitable venue for that. Debates should be organized to replace the vituperative spitting contests on FB. The debates should represent the cacophony of views & be held in venues around the world. The issue of Syria could not be more important for the future of humanity.