Brittney Gilbert has resigned her post as author/editor of Nashville Is Talking following a truly hideous episode of misunderstanding and attacks primarily from — get this — left-wing bloggers. Brittney is a lefty herself, but her position was misunderstood by her linking to a racist piece of garbage a few days ago without making her reason for linking it explicit — which was unnecessary for regular readers, as we all know her take on the mudslinger in question — and in the ensuing maelstrom, whatever the real issues were, they got lost in a flurry of ridiculous trolling and name-calling. Aunt B has an excellent summary of it all.
I’ve been following this whole thing for the past 12 hours or so, and it has been making me reflective and a little sad. I’m disappointed that more people don’t exercise compassion in their dealings with others. I’m disappointed that so many people resort to name-calling so quickly. I’m disappointed that this ultimately pushed Brittney to the point of resignation. And I’m just sad to see extreme reactions have such influence while opportunities for balance and understanding are overlooked.
That may make me sound like a “can’t we all just get along” type, but the thing is, I’m not afraid of confrontation. I believe in being direct with people when there are conflicts, and I strive to be gentle until my gentleness is misunderstood as a sign of weakness, and then all bets are off. I’m not always as compassionate as I should be. I forget sometimes about the feelings and frustrations of the people I’m interacting with. I think most of us do. *
The thing that makes me feel bad, personally, is that this all started because a dude died. And it was the reaction to the dude’s death that got everyone talking. You know, Talking. As in Nashville Is. And Brittney linked to an excerpt of some talking, as she is free to decide to do within the bounds of her job. (I expressed concern in comment #28 over how the link would be interpreted by those unfamiliar to the blog, as well as reservations about adding authority to the racist nonsense by linking to it, but I certainly never meant to suggest that Brittney was wrong to make that call.) It was controversial. It got people talking. I agree that the fact that she linked to it was as relevant as the link itself, but I can’t understand why so many people responded with such a lack of curiosity about either. They simply made their assumptions and began calling names.
I can’t decide whether to hope that WKRN decides to keep Nashville Is Talking up and running with a new author/editor or that they shut it down because Brittney is so much the heart and soul of that blog. What I hope for Brittney is easy, because I fully believe she’ll do really well in her next move.
* (I’m not sure why, but this reminds me to mention that Mack was surprised a few weeks ago, after reading my writings here for some time now, when I described myself in conversation as liberal. Huh? Not that it’s an either-or proposition, but I wonder how many conservatives he knows who are bisexual atheist child-free-by-choice vegans. I’m curious to meet one now!)