Something to note about me, I am 100% in support of people stating their opinions publicly. I don’t think people need to be quiet because they’ll offend someone (free speech and whatnot). But one thing about free speech, it doesn’t protect you from people forming opinions on the things that you say. They are free to react to those opinions however they’d like, even if they disagree with you.
Like I stated previously, it was about a year ago when I personally noticed that there was an increase in discussions on certain subjects. From those, people started opinionating in hateful ways. They would spread lies about specific groups of people to make them out to be inferior.
I am assuming that I, before this point, would see those posts and then ignore them because I do not like to get involved in conflict. I cannot say with certainty that’s what occurred. But there came a moment when I realized that I, as a blogger, have absolutely zero obligations when it comes to working with those specific people. And that was a changing point for me.
That gave me a sense of empowerment, if I’m going to be honest. I could stand up against racism, homophobia, religious intolerance, and transphobia – to name a few of the more prevalent topics – and I could use my blog to do this. First, I created a black list for the other members of this blog that listed the person and what they did so all the other platypires would be made aware of the issue. After that, I would inform the person that what they had said was unacceptable and they had lost a fan. They could take from that what they wanted, again – free speech and whatnot. Then I’d unlike their page and block it.
This was actually fairly difficult at first. There were authors I’d been reading for a while or bloggers that I worked with on many occasions, and I am bad at standing up for myself – let alone other people. But I eventually did it. And the more I did it, the easier it became. Not that this was at all required or the reason I did it, but there were times where one of my friends would contact me after the fact and thank me for standing up for them. And I’d think to myself that this is exactly what I’d hope my friends would do if people were targeting me.
Every time I reacted to their hate I did so with a need to stand up against the lies they were spreading. I also needed to make sure to distance myself and my blog from it. And, by doing this, I discovered there are other people who also do this – or things like it, which helps so much.
The point of this isn’t because I demand you all throw cookies and gold stars at me for not being an asshat. Instead, I hope this motivates others to stand up against intolerance and prejudice. There is a community of people who will support you. I will support you.
If an author promotes prejudice thoughts on their author page, I'll remove their books from my TBR list, and thank them for freeing up my time for more worthy authors. Like J. Hooligan, I'm not all that concerned with what authors promote on their personal pages, but when it comes to their author pages, I'm more than willing to let their beliefs impact their business.