Generally, I don’t make a big to-do about linking or de-linking to a blog. If a blogger has a nice body of work, I’ll simply add it to the blogroll. Conversely, if a blogger hasn’t posted in a while, states his/her intent to quit blogging or the blog manifestly no longer exists, I’ll simply de-link the blog without comment (with one or two exceptions). I’ve only de-linked one blogger for cause.
Once upon a time, there was a mass de-linking of a popular blog. The post for which the de-linking occurred was indeed offensive, and, for me, personal. The sentiments expressed in that post I agreed with, to a point. However, the way it was expressed and the use of my blog to back it up were over-the-top. As we all know, one can express a thought in whatever manner one chooses. If they choose to be blunt—as I often am here—they can still choose the proper queue of words: straight-forward need not mean distasteful. The words used were racialist (to borrow Francis W. Porretto’s term). Now, I’m not one of those people who believes that the n-word coming out of any non-black person’s mouth is automatically a fighting word. If you’re using it to make a non-offensive point (as Francis does in the post linked, or as Mark Twain famously did), I’ve no problem with it.
To give a contrasting example, in Mr. Porretto’s post, he also uses the words “honky” and “ofay,” offensive terms for white people among black Americans. The blogger in question even consistently refers to himself as a “cracker.” I would never use those terms, except to make a specific point—as I am doing right here.
Before the posting the widely-denounced missive in question, this blogger had used the n-word to spell out specific, cogent points. That wasn’t the case in this post, however: it was used to intentionally inflame and it served its purpose indeed. Additionally, a link to my blog was used to back up its validity.
More even than having the n-word batted around carelessly, I hate being embarrassed in public or used for any purpose (without my permission), especially when it comes from someone I consider to be a friend. However, I usually won’t reciprocate the offense to that friend, even if the friend deserves it—not unless they push me.
So I quietly de-linked him and we handled our business in private. I hate unnecessary drama.
“A gentleman never gives offense intentionally,” Francis reminds us. (I thought that a gentleman never gave offense *unintentionally,* but either version is rhetorically useful.) Call it Christian charity, call it mercy, call it caring about someone who never claimed to be a gentleman, call it whatever the heck you want to call it. I am choosing to publicly re-link Gut Rumbles.
I don’t expect the crazy old buzzard to be grateful. I accept him as he is which, of course, doesn’t mean that I won’t call him on his BS when warranted. I may do it private, I may not. Does he deserve being re-linked? Heck, no. But who among us deserves anything we get?