Selective outrage

Published 9:46 am Tuesday, June 6, 2017

I was happy to read Alex McDaniel’s column “Disagreeing without personal attacks,” in which she wrote about the importance of civil disagreement regarding her column that called for the resignation of a state official for using the word “lynching.”

If only McDaniel followed her own advice. At the end of her original column, she called State Representative Oliver a racist, itself a form of hate speech, and certainly a personal attack. The kind she claims to deplore. Indeed, being called a racist is the very worst kind of attack, because it’s an accusation.  One the accused can’t disprove.

If McDaniel doesn’t believe me, she should ask people of good faith in this town who are tired of being called that hateful word for no good reason. Without recourse. Or regret.

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When Jennifer Stollman of the Winter Institute personally insulted half of the voters of Mississippi, repeatedly calling them rural white racists and bigots for simply voting for President Trump — we heard nothing from Ms. McDaniel. No calls for an apology, let alone her resignation. The Oxford EAGLE called those words merely a “mistake.”

Here’s a new rule the Oxford EAGLE — and its columnists — might want to consider: If you want to end hateful speech and personal attacks, don’t use either yourself. And apply your standards equally to all speech, whether it comes from a liberal or a conservative. Your selective outrage is apparent to at least half of your readers.

Lee Habeeb