I'm Offended: Well, Get Over Yourself!
The readers of this blog knows I have to appear in court Monday because the Lumberton city clerk is offended by the things I post in this blog. Well, she's also offended by the comments made in response to the blog posts. Guess what? This is not Burger King and she can't have it her way. When I post things congratulating her on a job well done, something that rarely happens, she has nnthing to say. So my point is she should take the same stance when I'm critical. There's at least 2 blogs and more than a few threads on Community Forums and Private Facebook pages that are devoted to discussing Jonathan Griffith. At one point, they were blogging about what I blogged but eventually, they became gathering spots to discuss if I worked, where I lived, did I really graduate from college, what I drove, who I slept with, was I gay or straight, and the list goes on and on. I'm sure there's a lot of anonymous comments that were made that could be considered offensive but guess what, I didn't bother reading them. Oh wait, there was the constant references made about me in the Lumberton Connection and someone finally added me so I could see what was being said. The administrator of the page claimed that comments made should remain respectful or the person making the comment could be banned. Somehow, unsavory comments made towards me was an exception to the rule. I read a few comments, ignored threats made on that page, added several people so they could see the "united" Lumberton they loved and decided it wasn't the forum for me. What type of sadomasocist continue to visit an Internet page that offends them? Just this past week, the opinion pages were full of responses about Sen. Thad Cochran marrying his long time personal assistant. Do you think Cochran visited tne various pages to see what was being said? I doubt it. It was be just as ridiculious to think the city clerk and Mayor of Hattiesburg frequents the pages of the Hattiesburg Patriot. I think Chief Justice William Rehnquist summed it up best. "The fact that society may find speech offensive is not a sufficient reason for surpressing it." But this case that Merlene Wall is attempting to build against me is not about freedom of speech ; it's about race. How dare this black (insert expletive or racial pajarotive) dare attempt to impune the character or lack thereof of this Southern Belle? Well, I declare (in my Scarlette O'Hara voice) that it's enough to make a GCB want to partake of a mint juelup before noon, but God as my witness, we will make him eat the crow of Jim. (Sarcasm fully intended!)
The Hattiesburg Patriot, a blog focused on the City of Hattiesburg, has made statements that are far more inflammatory than anything I ever posted but there's one big difference. The blogger for the Hattiesburg Patriot is a white guy and he's primarily critical of a black mayor, a black chief of police and black board members. Whereas, I'm a black blogger that's critical of anyone, black or white, that's a hindrance to the growth of the City of Lumberton. As I looked over the summons, I could see the attorney painting the picture of the big black brute attacking this helpless, fraile old white woman. If you read the full brief, you would think I looked like this.
There's a Pearl River blogger that blogged about the pending lawsuit. Within the blog post entitled, "Lumberton, Mississippi Blogger Threatened with Lawsuit for Critique of Public Figure at City Meeting" he said
"Griffith's blog has addressed his perspective on events happening with Lumberton city government and is now being threatened with even a restraining order to keep him away from city hall. You can make your own judgement on the merit of the issues in question...nut regardless of whether you support Griffith's opinions or not such a move by any city official against anyone on the blogosphere should be regarded with much concern."What Merlene is attempting to do is play on fear. I'm afraid! It worked to get security cameras placed in a building that never has been broken into. Let's ponder on these things. City hall, where the police are housed is not safe but tne Vity is safe. Selah! This case is a case based on fear mongering; playing the victim while playing possum. In this country we enjoy many rights that others can only dream of: the right to vote, the right to freedom of religion and speech, the right to freedom of assembly, to freedom of movement, etc. But the only right we do not and should not have is a right NOT to be offended. We all need thicker skins if freedom of speech is to survive in the age of grievance fundamentalism. The right to free speech includes the right to offend. What's so hard to understand? Now let me log off and go back to listening to Lauren Hill singing, "how you gon' win when you ain't right within?" (Subliminal message intended!)