Thank You, Roy - And Response

Monday, August 21, 2017

While I disagree with Roy Exum on many issues, I do applaud him on his push against horse abuse and those that condone it, his stance on the sad state of education in  Hamilton County schools, and the stupefying effects of identity politics. 

I disagreed with his use of the phrase "Jewish" mayor as an unnecessary remark easily construed as derogatory in an opinion, not 'news,' piece. I also disagree with Roy's evangelical approach to religion and his lack of separation between religion and government, and his neo-conservative promotion of all things military including our present wars. There are other issues where Roy and I would be on opposite sides. 

But I would never call an advertiser to complain, threaten, or rant about Roy or the chattanoogan.com for publishing Roy's column. How else am I to know what is on the minds of other people? There are few outlets in Chattanooga where opinions are published, discussed, and often attacked, including my own. That is not only to be expected; it is necessary. 

I don't read to re-enforce my opinions; I read to learn, to understand, to gain knowledge of what I might be missing, and to change my mind when presented with evidence of my mistakes or misunderstanding. 

The extremes of both right and left always seek to silence the opposition whether it's the universities denying speakers to give presentations or Trump and his incessant harangues to suppress the media.  Free speech is to be encouraged, particularly with those with whom we disagree. 

Roy, I don't like some of your opinions, am very opposed to several, and get mad at a few. But I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Stephen Greenfield 

* * * 

Let me start off by saying thank you to Mr. Greenfield. What a well written article by an obviously level headed individual. I think a lot of America's problems can actually be attributed to social media itself. It's kind of ironic that I say that, I admin a local group page for current events with over 6,000 members.  

What I've found is, specifically on Facebook, users suffer from what I call "Echo Chamber Syndrome." They surround themselves with people that share opinions not unlike themselves. If someone steps out of line, they simply unfollow them. It allows them to still remain friends, but says "I'm not trying to hear that garbage you're taking."  

Here's the big problem with that. People are so used to their opinions being normal, anything different is "stupid." So, needless to say when a left leaning person goes onto a NewsMax thread with an opinion, they're decimated by other commentators. Take a look at a BuzzFeed thread. Anything not resembling a "Donald Trump is the worst president ever" is labeled Nazi behavior. 

Sometimes I wish we could just pull the plug on social media all together. Get out and play some baseball, softball, etc. Just as long as I get to keep my memes. 

James Berry
District 1 resident


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