I received my first complaint about my blog today. I knew that it would happen one day. It’s part of the package: if you put yourself “out there” you must be prepared to handle the criticism, the attacks and the complaints. Plus, I say things that many wouldn’t dare say. I sometimes even disagree with myself two days after posting something, but I am writing what I feel at that time. It is authentic. It is me.
So, I thought that first complaint would devastate me. Surprisingly, I was more amused than offended. The complainant nicely asked me to take the following post down:
I replied, “No, this site is for free expression, but you are free to unfollow me.” She clearly was upset by my refusal to take the post down, so she went into a discussion about free speech and profanity.
I curse on my site. I talk about controversial issues. I respect that some people are offended by cursing; therefore, I completely understand if they choose not to follow my blog. I didn’t start the blog for others. I started it for me. I have no idea if I have 10, or 100 or 1,000 followers. I started the blog to give me a space to write creatively and/or on topics that interest me (which is why I also write under a pseudonym). The tag line is “focusing on expressing – not impressing,” and I started the blog to do exactly that. I don’t care if you are impressed or distressed by what I write. It’s not about you.
I have trained probably 20,000 people on communication. You have to know your audience. I have functioned quite well in a wide spectrum of settings – from corporate America, to my kids’ school, to my husband’s work functions, etc. for over 40 years. I specifically started the blog to have the freedom to say what I wanted to say, and how I wanted to say it, to whatever audience wanted to hear it. There are hundreds of thousands of blogs, choose which one fits you. I am not changing my voice to suit you.
What amused me about the woman’s haughtiness is that she genuinely believed (and still seems to believe) that her opinion superseded mine, the many other people who have followed my blog for the past six months, including the 14 people (and counting) who “liked” the quote. I’m actually fascinated by her audacity and ego. In her mind, someone actually made her the judge and jury on what is right and acceptable. I’m grown – and don’t need someone trying to parent me as if I was six.
I’m “a live and let live” type of person. If you don’t like FOX news, change the channel. If you don’t like my blog, please—I urge you—unfollow it. It is not about you. It never has been.
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more