[UPDATE 6/8] In the Wake of Coverage of David Lawson’s Death, Local NAACP Calls for ‘Removal of Public Commentary’ on News Sites

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To Humboldt County Media Outlets:

In the aftermath of the senseless and tragic killing of David Josiah Lawson, the Eureka Branch of the NAACP has been monitoring not only the criminal case as the investigation progresses, but local area media coverage as well. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of an enlightened society in his “I Have a Dream” speech. All these years later, that dream seems as far away as it has ever been and, for people of color living in Humboldt County, their experience is more fittingly associated with a nightmare. As our community endeavors to heal and make sense of what has occurred, we have been subjected to the senseless, bigoted, crass, cruel, disgusting, uneducated, rants of those who skulk in anonymity, yet are given a prominent voice by many of our local Humboldt County media outlets. Lamentably, those voices have become the voice of Humboldt County; tragically, they have come to define us.

Since current practices embolden and empower hatred and acts of hatred, and due to a demonstrated unwillingness or inability to appropriately monitor public comments made in the wake of media stories posted online, the Eureka Branch of the NAACP calls upon all local media to serve as an example of the ideals exemplified by Dr. King by immediately discontinuing the practice of posting public commentary associated with media coverage. While the concept may have a justifiable or even laudable foundation, many Humboldt County media outlets have proven incapable of demonstrating responsibility or good citizenship in this regard. We are prepared to offer the following suggestions as best practices for a more equitable and inclusive alternative to current practices:

• Outright removal of public commentary altogether.
• Strict monitoring or vetting of posts before they are viewed publicly.
• The option to post only if the identity of the poster has been confirmed through a process.

Furthermore, the Eureka Branch of the NAACP calls upon Humboldt County media outlets to take a highly visible leadership role in showcasing the very best of our community and the diversity we collectively embrace while simultaneously shining a light of truth into those dark corners where hatred and bigotry still clearly exists.

As we work collaboratively towards the goals of peace, equality, and justice, we are calling upon you to make Humboldt County an intolerable place for those who believe in and demonstrate intolerance. We strongly urge you to publicly take these affirmative and visible steps to ensure that that violence, bigotry, and hatred will not be tolerated in any form.

Sincerely Yours,

NAACP, Eureka Branch
contact@eurekanaacp.org
707 502-2546NAACP Humboldt logo

UPDATE June 8: The following letter was sent to us from NAACP:

Greetings,

I am the Media Coordinator of the Eureka Branch of the NAACP. As one of the members of the executive board, I’d like to clarify a few things. In the wake of the recent murder of HSU student, David Josiah Lawson, the presence of vitriolic speech has become most prevalent on some of our local media outlets. The majority of the executive board collectively drafted a letter asking media organizations to examine and possibly change their policies related to the comment sections on their websites, social media pages, etc.

This letter was in no way suggesting censorship of our citizens. Additionally, our stance is not to infringe on anyone’s 1st Amendment rights. The letter simply suggests that the moderators of the local media sites use care in monitoring of the comments section. Our branch president, Liz Smith, stated on a local blogger’s website she did not agree with the body of the letter. She also expressed she felt recent correspondence from our 1st vice president, Donn Peterson, asked for her resignation. Donn Peterson’s personal letter to President Smith was not suggesting she resign, but instead expressed continued support. President Smith has not communicated with members of the executive board in several weeks. Our records reflect attempts to schedule meetings over the last two months, all to no avail. The executive board will continue to be of service to the region, despite the absence of our president. According to the national NAACP bylaws for local units, the role of the vice president is:

To perform all the duties of the President during periods of absence or disability. In case of more than one Vice-President, they will be designated as first, second, third, etc. and shall perform their duties according to their numerical rank. (2014 Bylaws for Units – page 33)

With that, our 1st vice president, Donn Peterson, offers a supplemental statement here:

My name is Donn Peterson and I am an officer with the Eureka Branch of the NAACP. The letter itself was discussed in public meetings and was a collaboration of the thoughts and ideas shared in those meetings by members and visitors alike. I signed the letter on behalf of the organization and, if the signature was illegible, I accept responsibility for that. The letter does not call for censorship, nor does the NAACP. That’s clear despite the contrived interpretations represented here and elsewhere. What the letter does call for is ownership of what appears on our Humboldt County local media websites. When people post comments that marginalize members of our community, that matters and it is a reflection of our community whether we like it or not, whether we agree with it or not. The stewards of those sites should be held accountable for what appears on them. The fact that one local media outlet suspended public comment in the wake of the Lawson homicide is indicative of at least a loose sense of that responsibility. For those of you who feel it’s your “right” to spew anonymously at the conclusion of news stories and that the request of the NAACP to exercise responsibility in that practice somehow constitutes a violation of free speech, I would ask you to go to the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, or any other respected publication. None seems to be experiencing a contravention of their first amendment rights by excluding such practices and it’s noteworthy that the NAACP did not in any way suggest regulation of journalistic freedom.

On a personal note…

I own what I say, refuse to lurk in anonymity, enjoy dialogue and differing points of view, and would love to see you and talk about… whatever. I’ll even buy the coffee.

If you are reading this, I am inviting you to figuratively walk in someone else’s shoes just for a moment. Imagine your loved one going to a place where they are ostensibly welcome, but only tolerated in practice. Someplace where they are less than 2% of the overall population and made to know it. Imagine what it might feel like to get looks, be followed around stores, have slurs shouted from passing cars, be exposed to bigoted comments in the same media outlets they too rely upon for access to local news, and generally experience disparate treatment (at best), outright animosity (the norm), or even targeted violence. Imagine how you might feel if your loved one was blamed and somehow held responsible for the treatment they received. Imagine your son, daughter, brother, or sister describing that to you. If you can imagine that, then perhaps you can begin to understand the experience of others here in Humboldt County… that this is their experience. Every. Single. Day.

Now, imagine that same dynamic, only allies abound. Where people proactively get involved in matters of disparity, inequity, and injustice. Imagine how differently you would feel if your loved one was in a place where those undeserved experiences were aberrations and not the norm… how good it would feel when people stood up for your son, daughter, brother, or sister, making sure they were treated fairly and no differently than anyone else.

I recently watched someone shouting racial slurs at a group of citizens gathered in the wake of the Lawson homicide. It disgusted me that a white man felt the privilege and sense of entitlement to walk past that diverse and peaceful crowd saying the vile things that he did. I was proud to confront him and stand up for what’s right. I am inviting you to get involved. I acknowledge my privilege and do not mean to co-opt or inappropriately describe the experience of others. No doubt my words will evoke ire with some and they would rather I shut up. My hope though is that the vast majority will get it and join with one another in demonstrating that we are better collectively than how we have recently and historically shown up. I challenge the people of Humboldt County to wake up, step up, show up, and speak up.

Please feel free to publish this additional correspondence to offer clarity in the matter. Thanking you in advance.

Truly,

Lorna L. Bryant

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131 comments

  • Festas Heggins

    How about we remove news sites until they are vetted by the NAACP ? , almost like a violation of one of the amendments don’t you think ?

  • Proud Deplorable Grandma

    I am so sick of race, race, race about everything. My parents were teachers in Humboldt and I was raised to treat everyone the same and judge them by the content of their heart and not the color of their skin. I raised my own three daughters the same way. But censorship? Um no. You can’t change minds, you have to change hearts and trying to shut people up are only going to make it worse. I see crap all the time I don’t agree with and just shut the browser!

    • Sure, but that’s like saying that you’re sick of war, war, war. And you taught your kids never to make war. And when you see nasty war images you just shut your browser and your problem is solved. Obviously for people in the warzone, they can’t just shut their browser and it goes away.

      News outlets generally are trying to bring balanced and factual information to people. Unmoderated comment sections do nothing to fulfill that mission. Hate speech is protected, but local media is inadvertantly giving it a megaphone. I agree that they should stop, and I don’t think people who say so are being ‘over-sensitive’ or censoring.

      • Go crawl into a safe space . There are plenty of snowflakes that will watch kitty videos with you and play with play dough . The Germans once restricted speech . So do the North Koreans and Russians . Sounds like you have like minded thinkers out there

    • If you think you are sick of reading about race, imagine what it is like to live knowing that people are always looking at you with suspicion simply because of the color of your skin, for your entire life. It doesn’t matter if you are a waiter or a Senator, if you are black you are viewed with a level of distrust by much of society. White Americans have simply never had to deal with it and can’t understand it but that doesn’t make it go away.

      That said, I don’t think a ban is a good solution though there’s nothing wrong with blog owners moderating their comment stream to weed out pointless hate-mongering.

      • Thinking allowed

        It’s true I never felt oppressed because of being white unless I in an area that was mostly black. Or Asian. Or Indian. Or anything else where I was different than the local racial predominance.

        So are all these groups ‘privileged’ too?

        • Did you feel oppressed or simply uncomfortable? There is a difference between feeling like you might not fit in or be welcome and being in legitimate danger or at risk of persecution by authorities. Feeling unwelcome may be in part from our own judgements about how people different from us are reacting to our presence.

          I grew up in the deep south and while there were places I did’t feel welcome I never felt like I had to worry about being pulled over, arrested, or stopped and frisked because of my skin color. And my discomfort at the time was not based so much on reality as it was on the cultural paradigms I was raised in and which I’ve tried to outgrow.

          It’s hard trying to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

          • Treading where angels fear to go

            Apparently it is hard to allow someone else’s experience if it doesn’t reinforce your own.

            Yes, in other countries or even places in the US being white can get you arrested but more likely simply killed. Certainly physically assaulted. In which case the local officials are so sorry but what else could a white person expect by going there. Circumspection as to where you go and who you talk to is required to survive.

        • Thank you. Perfectly phrased. But we don’t talk about racism against Caucasians…….

    • Lemme guess.. you’re white and love Jesus?

      Guess what, cops were beating the shit of out black people on the regular 20 years ago too, imagine 40, 60… never mind it’s actually totally impossible to imagine being an-other

      you don’t get to censor shit NAACP

  • Nice to know the NAACP only cares about free speech when it’s their own speech, and doesn’t extend the right of free speech to anyone else (no matter how stupid, uneducated, or disagreeable said speech might be to anyone – not just themselves).

    As for requiring identification to post only as “self”, please NAACP, fly off to your safe haven of Facebook where that’s already required. If you can’t take the internet, don’t log on.

  • How about just disband the NAACP?

  • The rule of thumb I’ve used on my blog is to not allow any comment that goes beyond what someone would say during the public comment section of a public meeting.

    There’s zero public benefit to allowing an unmoderated, or nearly unmoderated, environment in the name of free speech. This isn’t government, so it’s not even a First Amendment issue. Nutjobs and trolls have no limit to the number of blogs they can set up on their own to spout their toxic waste. It only harms public discourse to let trolls run the show on the blogs we use.

  • Who would know better than the NAACP? Theyve been trying to shut down anyone prowhite with their own racist hate speeches

  • Higher Standards Humboldt

    Heard of freedom of speech? Get a grip NAACP and read all the anti white racism accusations that have been spewed which provoked MANY of the not politically correct comments. Racism is not just a crime against minorities. This should not be a case that focuses on a black person being murdered it was just an unfortunate horrible murder. There are lots of them in Humboldt. Who cares what color they were? Racism would not have become the headlines of this horrendous crime if the friends of the victim were not being racist by making generalized statements that all the white responders were racist and essentially let the poor kid die. If I were one of the unfortunate responders to this scene now being called a racist and essentially accused of maliciously not treating the victim… I would be suing for slander. Racism works both ways.

  • This murder has not been shown to be cause racism or hate to the color of a persons skin. At this point no one knows who even stabbed Lawson. From what I have seen the blacks that come to this area have racism and some sort of entitlement over white people. I was racially slurred twice while standing on my lawn while a bunch of black HSU students walked by to attend a party in my neighborhood, two separate occasions. stupid white lady and much worse. When I told the police , they say it is freedom of speech. No it’s racist for black people to act in that manner and this coin cannot be one side. I see a lot of ignorance and it’s is sad their parents couldn’t give them more tools to deal with this hard, cruel world. My parents did. before this even happened there was a party in my neighborhood. At 3 in the morning while going to their car they decided to piss on the side of my neighbors home. He came out to tell them to get off his property. They then mailed him after saying “let’s get the old man”. Well they beat the shit out of him, about 10 people. I called APD and HSU letting them know I have it on video , but they weren’t interested. Now if my neighbor was black, I do believe that would have wanted the video. He is white , so no biggie. HSU also told me that unless instances happen at school then they will handle itt. Well, when the 2 HSU girls alledgedly got a bottle thrown at them by a clansmen to n a truck, that wasn’t school property or on school time. Ya know , we all matter. This town needs to remember who lives here 100% of the time and these students should be molding themselves and being respectful of our community. I suggest more black people educate themselves on slavery and how it started. Their people sol them to different countries to slavery. 80% of the blacks sent to the US were then sent to Mexico. The NAACP needs to get a life on this one.. I wish all of your parents could have taught you about dignity and respect, and no one has more entitlement.. this hasn’t been shown to be a race crime. Has chandlers prints been checked to the knife? Also why did Lawson punch a woman?????

  • Thinking allowed

    Whoever wrote the letter didn’t sign it. Wasn’t that one of their own suggestions- identifying the posters with a strict vetting process? Being id’d has the purpose of making the poster responsible for their words. But how is this responsibility to be enforced? Scary. It provides the protection of anonymity to the members of organizations and leaves the individual vulnerable to persecution. Obviously something Mr/Ms ‘NAACP, Eureka Branch’ finds a very appealing idea.

    Public comments sections would not be as valuable as they are, however irritating, if the media would adhere to strict standards of behavior about reporting themselves. As it is they pick and choose what they report. They ‘get statements’ from those when it favors their premises in an article, never verifying them as reporters will flat out tell you they are not responsible if someone lies- that’s on the statement maker’s head. The reporter escapes responsibility lies and bias this way. And eliminate any thing that raises questions. They exhibit extreme bias themselves. If not for the incognito public comments, people would no chance to learn anything different. The reporter controls all.

    Many comments are stupid, ugly and mean. But in the middle of all this dirt, there are diamonds of truth, justice and reality. And worth getting dirty to find.

  • well, that sounds kinda racist. the televison news stories certainly pointed the race finger. I think we are evolving and desolving those color lines<slowly but surely. just remember how one sided news coverage can be. I want to see the others viewpoints as well.

  • humboldtmama67

    Well, Mr. Hide behind the NAACP and not give YOUR name to the letter to the editor you wrote, Lost Coast Outpost DOES require verification as to who the poster is. While I agree about the hatred spewed by a lot of the commentators, not all of us spew racist and hateful things. Freedom of speech, however goes both ways. You get it as do the rest of us.

  • I remember Dr. King’s famous anti-free speech marches. I’m sure he would be proud to hear that someone is now perverting his words to push censorship of public discourse.
    It’s also interesting that the letter calling for an end to anonymous comments was signed anonymously.

    • They are not asking for censorship. They are asking private companies who purport to not to be racist to quit giving a forum to vicious racists. Racists are still free to speak their minds, NAACP is just asking local media outlets to quit buying them a billboard, so to speak.

  • It is just another one of those situations of wanted to spew crap WITHOUT SIGNING YOUR NAME(s). Read what you wrote, NAACP of Eureka, and practice what you preach.
    The death of Lawson is a tragedy, but the real killer has yet to be FACTUALLY identified. Make sure the family and the lawyer know and understand this.

  • Stand with free speech.

    While I understand there is a lot of pain associated with Lawson’s death, I don’t agree with the NAACP, on this issue. Personally I want to know what people I do not agree with think. I do not believe letting fascism fester in the shadows is benificial. I believe the only way to fight fascism racism is to bring it into our awareness. I am not saying it should be embraced, but if it is ‘swept under the rug’ how are we to know what is really going on.
    If one is to start limiting what others say, then that might start applying to both sides. What if one said ‘ I hate Trump, because he is evil and greedy?’ Well, to other people that might be considered hate speech, theoretically. Who is to decide? And to stop comments on ALL news stories, because of one very sad one, is to me draconian. I am glad to comment, or hear what others are saying, even if I disagree 100%. But if people are making specific violent threats, I do not believe that should be tolerated. Just my 2 cents…

  • Why wouldn’t they want to know how many racist are in the area?

  • In the letter above I understand the angst. The vitriol spewed in comments on most posts on any subject is unbelievable. This is not new, nor confined to any topic.
    But I disagree that these voices have come to define us.
    You cannot silence people nor restrict their voices. To a point we have the right to speak our mind. But I would agree discourse would be improved if individuals had to identify themselves and own their words, rather than hide in anonimity.
    The community is strong, and we need not create barriers between us when we seek to work together, heal together, and move forward together, as a community.

  • You can’t tell people what to do or say!! People are who they are. I raised my children not to hate to help,they only see colors,in the rainbow. They see racism on tv,in movies,in work. They make a choice to see everyone the same AS PEOPLE,JUST PEOPLE..I think what the naacp is doing is making things worse. Please be kind to one another

  • I went strait to the Comments Section…just FYI.

  • Way too much I don’t like to hear in the comment sections, which is why I read and support them. I’d echo what “Thinking aloud” said above. I ignore a lot of vapid stuff, am sickened by a lot by others, I like the good points made by independent thinkers regardless of if they support my beliefs or not, and ultimately I learn a lot about the issue – which adds depth to the news item. This makes people think.

  • Come on people. Imagine local media outlets had racist graffiti painted all over their buildings and the NAACP, and hopefully any person who loves justice, asked them to paint over it. Yesterday. Please. Would you say that was censorship?
    That’s what unmoderated comment sections are. Blank walls where people spray paint ideas that no legitimite forum will give the time of day.
    I’m sorry that people of color can’t tell us to quit being racist, can’t ask us to care about fighting racism, without hurting our wittle white feelings and wrecking our day with all this tiresome race stuff. Not actually sorry.

  • This whole case is ridiculous!!! Hello people get murdered here it’s been going on even before the droves of people that started to flock here because the green rush and increased the population like crazy. Usually it was a white person that got killed too. Since well there’s a lot of white people here duh. So now there’s more black people here and one gets killed and everyone loses their shit. If I moved to Oakland and got murdered people would be like well you moved to Oakland that’s what happens there. NOBODY WOULD BE CALLING IT A HATE CRIME OR THE COMUNITY RACIST! What’s more ridiculous is nobody knows if the murderer was even white!? I don’t see how there were so many people at the scene yet nobody can say what happened that lines up with the evidence. So clearly people are not being truthful. Even the helpless black people….also his friend that was accusing the emt of being racist and calling people white boy and white girl literally sounded like the most racist person I’ve ever heard speak publicly in the county!!!!! And I’ve lived here my whole life born in Arcata, ca baby and proud of it! Sorry but it’s blatantly obvious if this was a white hsu student it wouldn’t be this huge ordeal and get all this attention but since he was black oh no it’s a hate crime. Please. He was a kid at a party with drunken testosterone raging kids and unfortunately it didn’t end so nicely. I truely believe him dieing had nothing to do with his skin color…..

    • Treading where angels fear to go

      Maybe but racial hostilities make fights so much more likely if you come pre primed.

    • Amimissingsomething

      When you have a group of people such as BLM “Black Lives Matter” involved in any situation between white and black they will distort the truth to any extent to get the reaction or point of view they want. BLM wants to kill all whites. They have said it over and over to the point it must have sunk in somewhere. Why would anyone want to hear about a racist organization that promotes violence against anyone? Stifling free speech any speech is against the law unless it is hate speech. If you are a news organization and you remove the comment section you then become a propaganda outlet for racists or a millennial outlet for someone who has an problem with hurt feelings. Just be kind to one another and it will be a nice place to live and work for everyone! MLK jr. believed this with all his heart.

      • Amimissingsomething? You are missing everything. You don’t know what the hell youre talking about.

    • Thank you!!!

  • Treading where angels fear to go

    We can get around most of the difficulties of race bias if we apply the same standards to all speech equally. Not according to who is saying it.

    For example the article on the BLM pin the firefighter wanted to wear but his captain said no. If it had not been such a hot button issue- purporting racial bias- it would never have reached news status. There are probably many dozens of such grievances filed each day in this nation, alleging a suppression of free speech between an employee who wants to make a public statement amd an employer who worries it may offend.

    It is so news unworthy that it would never even make a union newsletter except someone wants to use the press as a political tool on a specific issue. And the press is very willing too as taking a contentious race issues get readers. It doesn’t matter if it is totally meaningless. Race is supposed to make it oh so meaningful.

    We as a society need perspective, not distortion.

  • Somehow I really don’t think Mr. King would have supported censorship, or just about anything else in that release. His ideals actually included a completely free press and freedom of speech, and unlike a lot of people these days, I strongly suspect he wasn’t the kind of person to only support ideals when they were to his benefit.

  • To the Eureka NAACP:
    Mr. King was a strong supporter of the freedom of the press and the freedom of speech. He would be appalled to see his name attached to a statement suggesting that people’s opinions should be vetted before being allowed to be published. You speak of his ideals, but then you do the exact opposite. Mr. King knew that being able to say something, even if unpopular, was part of the fundamental freedoms that America stood for, and this was something he actively worked for throughout much of his life. Many people and organizations used very similar arguments to try to keep his speech, and the speech of anyone else fighting for equality, from being published, and some of them were successful. Your actions are contrary to his ideals, and you are working to undo one of the very things he fought for, while smearing his good name by associating it with your harmful actions. And, unlike your organization, he was not the kind of person to only claim to support ideals when they could be used in his favor, then sweep them under the rug if they were an inconvenience. This level of hypocrisy shows what kind of organization you run, and I for one will make a point of not supporting it in any way in the future. Mr. King often spoke of needing to address the root cause of an issue, which in this case is why society continues to create people with such hateful opinions. Trying to censor their opinions will not solve this.

  • It’s unbelievable that the NAACP is even thinking about this. The Blacks have their own actors awards ceremonies. They have their own Black music awards ceremonies. They have all Black TV comedy shows. These are the things Dr. King was against because they promote racism. Whites are not included in any of these award events, but are there protests or riots by Whites??? Now they want to rewrite the constitution. This is NOT an ideal exemplified by Dr. King. He would be ashamed of this request.

  • I’m offended by the accusations against the community in this letter.
    Shame on you.

    • Really? Shame on you for blinding yourself.

      • The letter says that the voices of Humboldt County are ” bigoted, crass, cruel, disgusting, and uneducated” and that they “define us” as a community. If this isn’t taking the behavior of a few individuals and projecting them onto the entire group then I don’t know what is. These kinds of generalizations form the backbone of the racism that you deplore and I suggest that you check your double standard if you hope to be taken seriously. How well do you think it would go over in your community if I showed up with a name like “Black Tears” and accused you all of being disgusting ignorant bigots because of the poor behavior portrayed by a few individuals?

        • Show me anywhere you say me or the letter say “all white people are disgusting ignorant bigots”. If you feel personally attacked because it is behavior you participate in, I suggest you reflect on why that is. It is no secret that comment sections of the local newspapers are ripe with racism. That is why they are writing this open letter. If you rather defend the right of someone to be racist over the right of someone not be racially attacked, its you they’re referring to. If you think equality and justice are a zero-sum game, you won’t ever understand my pseudonym.

          • I see. It appears that you may be one of those unfortunate souls that sees racism in a rainbow and that the chip on your shoulder is interfering with your reading comprehension and rational thought. It’s obvious that this conversation is going nowhere so I’ll leave you to your own racial bias, misguided hatred, and bitter attitude. The best advice I can give you is to embrace The Golden Rule and also to understand that you’re more likely to get your point across with politeness than with insults, accusations, and name calling. Enjoy the last word. It’s all yours.

        • Thank you Muggins, for that it is how it reads for me too. The few define all.
          I’m also offended that the letter is blaming Kym of not dealing with any and all comments that truly are assaulting. She does a great job and doesn’t deserve to be falsely accused of promoting bad behavior.

  • I agree 100%. If the news outlet can’t moderate their own comment section, then take it down. It is a privilege NOT A RIGHT.

    • lol White Tears

      White Tears

      White Tears

      Preach, preach, preach…..but no one is listening.

      oh the irony

      • Preach? I’m just venting on a fairly unknown platform, just like you are. Irony is that you needed to let me know that you “aren’t listening.” Was there a point you were trying to make?

    • I don’t know what Constitution you are reading, but I suggest you check your cites.

      • Please enlighten me: tell me which part of the constitution protects the right to troll on the comment section of a local paper. I’ll give you all the time you need.

    • Sleepy Alligator

      Actually it is a right. You know the right to free speech.

    • As Sleepy Alligator said, it is a right. Newspapers have the right to publish any opinions they wish, even wrong-headed hateful opinions provided by users. This is not a privilege. This is a fundamental right.

  • Does your free speech defend any of the following?:
    -descriptions of sexual contact with a child
    -graphic descriptions of torture or rape
    -explicit instructions on how to make bombs and weapons
    -detailed description on how to steal a senior’s identity, savings, etc
    -telling your children where they can buy heroin or meth…
    Shall I go on?
    Do you still think all speech is or should be equally protected? Or only hate speech against black people is okay because you were taught “not to see race”? I was raised not to see racists but I still see them everywhere I go.

    • Yes, actually, it does. All of those. Actually doing many of those things would be wrong, but I’ll still defend the right to say them.

      • So you are literally saying you are willing to defend something that is wrong. Okay.

        • If you can not understand the difference between doing something wrong, and talking about it, then I can not help you.

          • I did not say “talk about it”. Go back and read the original comment.

          • Quick search on google is all it takes.

            “Article 19 of the UDHR states that “everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”. The version of Article 19 in the ICCPR later amends this by stating that the exercise of these rights carries “special duties and responsibilities” and may “therefore be subject to certain restrictions” when necessary “[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others” or “[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals”.[5] Therefore, freedom of speech and expression may not be recognized as being absolute, and common limitations to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury. Justifications for such include the harm principle, proposed by John Stuart Mill in On Liberty, which suggests that: “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”[6] The idea of the “offense principle” is also used in the justification of speech limitations, describing the restriction on forms of expression deemed offensive to society, considering factors such as extent, duration, motives of the speaker, and ease with which it could be avoided.”

            This is even without considering that a newspaper comment section is NOT the government and therefore they reserve the right to do whatever they feel is appropriate. And this is without mentioning that this was a suggestion by the NAACP, no one is forcing anything onto anyone.

            • “common limitations to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury. ”

              Which of those covers any of the examples you gave?

              In fact, many of the things you said are things US courts have explicitly found to be protected, such as the making of weapons, or really weird porn.

              And you’re right, a newspaper is not the government. A newspaper _is_ allowed to pick and choose opinions to post. A newspaper is also allowed to publish opinions that you find distasteful. Even if they’re flat-out wrong, as long as they’re not libel or slander, they’re allowed to do so.

            • “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France.”

              Around these here parts called USA, the Constitution and Bill of Rights are the SUPREME LAW of the LAND. The Constitution reigns over any other laws or treaties.
              Google the !st amendment:
              “The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, ensuring that there is no prohibition on the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to …”

              The government does not establish or deny rights. The Constitution is a contract that limits governments. The people formed the governments for certain jobs and those jobs only. Any law that is NOT in keeping with the Constitution is to be considered null and void. The federal government was DELEGATED certain roles. The States are forbidden from taking charge of those roles. The Federal government is forbidden from taking charge of ALL the remaining powers not delegated to the federal government. NEITHER the states or the Feds have rights. ONLY the people, the INDIVIDUAL, has rights. The States and the Feds both are forbidden from messing with RIGHTS. They have no power of authority to establish or deny ANY rights of the people. The people have the right to Private Property and they have Property in their Rights. INDIVIDUALS have the right to every emotion, every like, every dislike, every dream they desire.

              The Constitution supersedes any other governing agreements.
              Groups do not have rights. INDIVIDUALS have rights.

              Neither groups or Individuals have the right to demand for others to do anything for them. They may REQUEST, but they have no power or authority to demand.

              This thread is a prime example of freedom of speech. You personally have the right to offend others by your accusations against the community. The community has a right to defend and discuss their own positions individually.

              If you want peace, my friend, then I suggest you write a letter of thankfullness to the outlets like Kyms and to the individuals of the community for their love of individuals, no matter their race, color, culture or status.

  • I use a pen name myself because using my own name makes me a target when I make a comment that focuses hate or nastiness. And I’m grateful to be able to. But anonymity protects a lot of ugliness.

    How about heading the comments section with a notice that informs potential posters that hate speech will be removed and the poster reported?

    I’ve seen an increase in nasty comments as a consequence of invisibility on threads. Social media seems to give humans a way to be disgusting and offensive, and yes, to express beliefs and values that the writer couldn’t express verbally without being shunned. There’s no way to daylight hateful behavior, so ugliness is given free rein. What to do? Requiring a standard of courtesy if it’s your blog is a good start. Reporting race-based hate speech to an organization like the NAACP is a good start.

  • Free speech/press is a right. Of all the organizations, the NAACP should have understood this. Shame on you, who ever wrote this letter.

  • Well. This is ignorant.

    Yes, MLK was all about silencing folks. wtf

    • I was wondering if the press release was a form of sarcasm when I first glanced at it… It’s that far from reality.

  • The NAACP is wrong on their call for censorship. Censorship will simply drive the problem underground. Exposing hatred is a positive move.
    In the past, I have been appalled by some of the comments on this, and other, blogs; but I have always learned from them. The more we know about each other, the more we can help each other overcome the irrational, hate filled fears we all have experienced.
    Love will prevail in the end. Believe it.

  • Sleepy Alligator

    I personally don’t believe that the opinions posted by people on media outlets are what defines this county. The NAACP should go explore the county if thats how they define it. Instead of searching for something to complain about go take a walk through the redwoods. Maybe they should try doing what I feel like anyone who can’t handle reading opinions they don’t agree with should do…….just don’t read them. Plain and simple! As for racists comments, well they’re just a sign of the poster’s ignorance and they usually don’t stay up long enough for anyone to see, at least not here. LCO on the other hand is a different story. Their mediation seems to be more mediator selective based on who knows what. A comment that subtly says something about the subjects appearance might get deleted when a comment talking about shooting Indians or blacks etc might not even get edited or deleted. It’s baffling!

  • Why the different standards depending on the color of the persons skin that was murdered???

    Maybe they should try a more enlightened option?

  • I’d like to remind people (who may not often visit RHBB) of Kym’s stand with her statement above:
    “Remember opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of Redheaded Blackbelt.”
    She also reserves the right to remove a post which is much to offensive and while discussions on RHBB can be wild and wooly they can be thought provoking in a positive way, provide and also gain useful information (People are good about updating timely issues or ‘need to know’ requests). This really is a forum and from what I read, I think there is a real need for people to feel they can speak out.
    Some forums draw people whose vocabulary lacks scope and whose contributions are
    all-too-often repetitive. Then there are those who do read and do think and feel part of a community.
    I read elsewhere that Liz Smith, the head of the NAACP, was asked to sign the letter and refused. I suppose the person who asked her to step down from her position is the one who signed the letter.
    I don’t know if that person will bother to read the comments in response to the letter, but if they do, I have some questions for them.
    It has to do with perspective.
    If African-American students at HSU have felt isolated, besides the college club, have they reached out to any other African-American associations for assistance or support?
    If people in the NAACP do feel that there is a strong presence of racism in Humboldt, why are they not more active in the community to change this?
    Does the local chapter of the NAACP have outreach to HSU students?
    Its website states that it is a nonprofit organization.
    The local unit’s nonprofit status derives from that established in Baltimore, MD which California recognizes.
    The Federal 990 Form which asks for a statement of purpose (as a non profit), shows this:
    “THE NAACP WAS ORGANIZED TO ELIMINATE SOCIAL INJUSTICE,INCLUDING RACIAL
    DISCRIMINATION,BY ASSISTING IN LEGAL CASES AND BY AFFIRMING LEGAL
    ACTION IN ESTABLISHING THE PRINCIPLES OF LAW.”

    And on the national website at the conclusion of the history of the group, there is this statement:
    “While much of NAACP history is chronicled in books, articles, pamphlets and magazines, the true movement lies in the faces–the diverse multiracial army of ordinary women and men from every walk of life, race and class–united to awaken the consciousness of a people and a nation. The NAACP will remain vigilant in its mission until the promise of America is made real for all Americans.”

    I’m sure that statement will give comfort to Kyle Zoellner who was brutally attacked and even after the local court dismissed all charges against him, is still being accused of murder and vilified by those who call others ‘racists’.

    Since this letter comes some time after Josiah Lawson’s death, is it Justin Sanders, the lawyer from Los Angeles (who is supposed to be working with his family) who caused it to be written?

  • “[S]enseless, bigoted, crass, cruel, disgusting, uneducated, rants of those who skulk in anonymity” are par for the course on internet sites. Those of us who are offended by them have learned to ignore them or scroll past them as soon as the tone of the comment is apparent. The only alternative, I’m afraid, is abrogation of free speech though the owner of the website does have the power to alter or remove them. But perhaps it is instructive to see just how horrible people can be.

  • Sleepy Alligator

    After reading all of the above comments I just have to say that Kym Kemp does an excellent job mediating her site. I’m actually amazed that she even has the time to monitor the comments as rapidly as she does. For example just the other day I posted my opinion stating, subtly, that the only treatment for a child molester should be a bullet and in the blink of an eye it was gone. So if the NAACP wants to criticize media outlets for not mediating to their expectations they should also recognize the ones that do an excellent job of it. Oh but that would be the opposite of complaining and I don’t think they’re capable of that.

  • “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” Dr. Martin Luther King

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4T0Yq_fYjY

    “All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.” Dr. Martin Luther King —from “I’ve Been To The Mountain Top,” April 3, 1968

  • 🙈🙉🙊

  • Veterans friend

    Curtailing free speech is the wrong response.
    I do not like what is said, but defend your right to say it none the less.

  • Intolerance huh? In that case we need an NAACP type branch to speak up for all the junkies, meth heads, alcoholics, pot growers, speeders, general bad drivers, thieves, burglars, bad parents and bad pet owners. If you are a racist, censorship is not going to change that. In my opinion, I think this site does a great job of regulating comments and I don’t think being of any race should protect you from not being liked. I’m sorry, but if a person does something horribly wrong, I don’t care about your color, gender, race, nationality or your social status, Im gonna hate on you for being a bad person. Don’t try to block my anonymous online judgment about you just because you’re a certain race. Come on.

  • The comment sections need to be left open and free because that it allows people to voice what they really think and feel without professional or personal repercussions. Sure there are the local assholes and racist that just spew a bunch of crap wherever we go but that is apart of the fabric of humanity and it will never go away because not everyone is not capable of rational thought or introspection. However, we need free speech especially in comments sections! Writing organizes your thoughts, it causes you to stop and think about what your value system is. Also its an exercise for others to hear another persons point of view, whether profound or profane, and not emotionally react like children to when out of our like-minded echo chambers. People of emotional maturity and strength of character do NOT allow the anything lewd, insulting or annoying to affect them. They are not victims to every single slight that may occur in the public sphere. When did we lose this standard?
    This is just an attempt at control, to silence what is not on par with the accepted narrative. To quote George Orwell:
    ““If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.”

  • They are just mad that they didn’t get their way. There has been no proof this was a race motivated murder. The attack on Kyle was obviously race motivated (a bunch of men of color beating on the white boy- their words)

  • More proof that Liberals are mentally ill.

  • Solve our differences by curbing our right to free speech? Everyone that disagrees with you is not a bigot. Even some bigots may agree with you. Don’t attempt to curb our right to speak because some of us say what you don’t like. Being local does not mean we are automatically uneducated and racist.

  • My name is Donn Peterson and I am an officer with the Eureka Branch of the NAACP. The letter itself was discussed in public meetings and was a collaboration of the thoughts and ideas shared in those meetings by members and visitors alike. I signed the letter on behalf of the organization and, if the signature was illegible, I accept responsibility for that. The letter does not call for censorship, nor does the NAACP. That’s clear despite the contrived interpretations represented here and elsewhere. What the letter does call for is ownership of what appears on our Humboldt County local media websites. When people post comments that marginalize members of our community, that matters and it is a reflection of our community whether we like it or not, whether we agree with it or not. The stewards of those sites should be held accountable for what appears on them. The fact that one local media outlet suspended public comment in the wake of the Lawson homicide is indicative of at least a loose sense of that responsibility. For those of you who feel it’s your “right” to spew anonymously at the conclusion of news stories and that the request of the NAACP to exercise responsibility in that practice somehow constitutes a violation of free speech, I would ask you to go to the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, or any other respected publication. None seems to be experiencing a contravention of their first amendment rights by excluding such practices and it’s noteworthy that the NAACP did not in any way suggest regulation of journalistic freedom.

    On a personal note…

    I own what I say, refuse to lurk in anonymity, enjoy dialogue and differing points of view, and would love to see you and talk about… whatever. I’ll even buy the coffee.

    If you are reading this, I am inviting you to figuratively walk in someone else’s shoes just for a moment. Imagine your loved one going to a place where they are ostensibly welcome, but only tolerated in practice. Someplace where they are less than 2% of the overall population and made to know it. Imagine what it might feel like to get looks, be followed around stores, have slurs shouted from passing cars, be exposed to bigoted comments in the same media outlets they too rely upon for access to local news, and generally experience disparate treatment (at best), outright animosity (the norm), or even targeted violence. Imagine how you might feel if your loved one was blamed and somehow held responsible for the treatment they received. Imagine your son, daughter, brother, or sister describing that to you. If you can imagine that, then perhaps you can begin to understand the experience of others here in Humboldt County… that this is their experience. Every. Single. Day.

    Now, imagine that same dynamic, only allies abound. Where people proactively get involved in matters of disparity, inequity, and injustice. Imagine how differently you would feel if your loved one was in a place where those undeserved experiences were aberrations and not the norm… how good it would feel when people stood up for your son, daughter, brother, or sister, making sure they were treated fairly and no differently than anyone else.

    I recently watched someone shouting racial slurs at a group of citizens gathered in the wake of the Lawson homicide. It disgusted me that a white man felt the privilege and sense of entitlement to walk past that diverse and peaceful crowd saying the vile things that he did. I was proud to confront him and stand up for what’s right. I am inviting you to get involved. I acknowledge my privilege and do not mean to co-opt or inappropriately describe the experience of others. No doubt my words will evoke ire with some and they would rather I shut up. My hope though is that the vast majority will get it and join with one another in demonstrating that we are better collectively than how we have recently and historically shown up. I challenge the people of Humboldt County to wake up, step up, show up, and speak up.

    • I appreciate you coming and joining the conversation because I do have questions. The New York Times allows comments on some stories and moderates those. The Los Angeles Times allows and moderates comments as does the SF Chronicle. We certainly haven’t reached their level but we also moderate comments. What comments on this site are you concerned about? I know there are comments that I think are racist but I believe allowing dialog is healthier than stifling in most cases. I don’t allow slurs or threats of violence but I am open to hearing other concerns you have.

      • – it’s easy Kym. This is all you need to know:
        • Strict monitoring or vetting of posts before they are viewed publicly.

        • The way I do it is my comment system holds posts from people based on whether they’ve posted before, whether they’ve been deleted, etc. I vet those before allowing them to post but people who are regular commenters can post on the honor system. I try to check frequently but sometimes I can’t. Then a comment that breaks the rules may be up for multiple hours (even a time or two for a day). In that case, I trust my readers to survive. The worst that happens is they may encounter someone with a very disturbing philosophy. We’re all grownups here. I suspect they’ll be alright until I get a chance to delete the comment. In any case, the comment isn’t up for that long relatively speaking.

          • – okay, thanks for explaining your system. So then in your mind you are already doing what the NAACP is suggesting, except for the time delay. Yet there is the issue of what you consider objectionable, and what they do. I rarely come here so i can’t say much about the comments’ content over the last few years. One thing i like is when the blog owner takes part in discussions. Carry on Kym. I love the header pic and it’s worth stopping by just for that.

    • I just don’t get it. Almost every person I know gets followed around stores, gets stuff yelled at them by passing cars, and is made to feel uncomfortable in practically every situation they are in. You talk about imagine if it was your family. My family does get judged, criticized, scrutinized at every corner. We are white. It seems that a very sad situation has brought about some people’s issues with race, and they are running with it. Well, screw them, and their opinions, mine and yours too. As far as I can see, race has nothing to do with anything in this county, and a few bigot a-holes shouting slurs, they are going to continue to be bigots. Inappropriate for anyone to yell racial slurs period, but I don’t see how changing the way our online media operates and regulates their own webpages will make any change to this jerk who feels it necessary to be a racist maggot. We need to stop pointing fingers and just live our lives while we can. I have never once seen a person treated differently because of race or color since I have been in Humboldt.
      Not saying it doesn’t happen, it just seems like people are so quick to say, “oh, it’s because I’m homeless” “Oh, it’s because I’m a grower” “oh, it’s because I have long hair”….no! Maybe you just look like you’re up to no good!
      I have this problem, when someone thinks I have done something wrong, I start to get nervous and act like I’m guilty, when really, I just know, they think I did something, and now I’m acting weird, and it really does seem like I’m doing something wrong.
      I feel like this happens a lot with people being discriminated against.
      It’s a cycle.

      • Well said, and very true.
        Stacy Washington said the same exact thing. She took a rude lady’s comments personally, until she stepped back and realized that the rude lady was rude to every person she encountered, no matter their status, color, culture or imaginings thereof.
        Individuals rock.
        Individuals suck.
        God love them all.

    • Sleepy Alligator

      The letter may not call for censorship but it does call for local media to immediately discontinue the practice of posting public commentary. Isn’t that worse than censorship? I’m sorry that some idiot racist yelled racial slurs at you but that person is not a representative of all white people and his actions certainly do not warrant the discontinuing of the community’s right to voice their opinions. It’s a bit egotistical of the NAACP to even suggest such a thing if you ask me. The simple solution when someone or some group starts crying about something they read that they don’t agree with is just don’t read it!

    • “Imagine your loved one” etc. I’m trying to imagine what, exactly, this has to do with the topic at hand.

      I too share your dream for a world without hate. In general, I agree with most of what you say… Until you get to the part where you think eliminating or restricting public commentary is somehow going to bring it about. I don’t believe trying to silence the people expressing their hate is part of the path to this dream.

      If you actually want to work towards eliminating hate, you need to address why people hate. Part of it is upbringing – their parents hated, so they do too. Part of it, and I’m sure I’ll get called racist for stating this, is the perceived (rightly or wrongly, an argument I’m not going to get involved in) disproportionate percentage of crimes committed by people of color (native american as well as african american), giving otherwise un-hating people the impression that they are in danger when a colored person is around. Part of it is backlash against overly politically correct attitudes and the avoidance of even talking about racism, like how I already know people are going to dislike me for listing the previous item. Part of it is in response to others’ racism, in both directions – there’s no shortage of anti-white hate too, and I’ve seen at least as much anti-white hate in discussions over the recent murder, be it blatant, or subtle, like implying white people couldn’t understand. Subtle racism is racism too. And I’m sure there’s lots of other parts I’m not thinking of. Does preventing public discussion address any of these?

      Is reading others’ public comments a factor? Maybe, maybe not. If they see others agreeing with them, it might reinforce their viewpoints. But, most of the worst racism I’ve seen, either anti-black or anti-white, is promptly responded to by others pointing out errors in the poster’s viewpoint, with, to put it politely, varying degrees of finesse. This would seem to be a mechanism by which people with the most racist opinions might learn that other people disagree with them. I say might, of course, because I suspect there’s a very strong overlap between the most racist people and people who are most immune to learning.

      Stifling these posts will prevent the self-corrective action of other posters, and will strongly further the backlash against political over-correctness. Removing public commentary entirely will only serve to prevent discussion between opposing viewpoints, and greatly set back any hope of progress. Requiring verified identities will also stifle conversation, as many people have a legitimate need or desire not to be associated with their posts. Me, I’ve received enough death threats over the years, and thus rarely attach my name to things. It gets tiring after a while. Given the amount of hate crimes still being committed, or general discrimination by employers, co-workers, etc, you should be well aware of the risk of being publicly associated with having an opinion of any kind.

      Any actions taken to reduce public commentary will, in addition to preventing discussion and reconciliation of opposing viewpoints, drive discussions into private forums, where people are more likely to only associate with people of similar viewpoints, where they can reinforce their wrongheadedness free from exposure to the rest of the world.

      Of course, any reduction in public commentary will also hurt non-race-related discussions. Your stance implies that either all public commentary is harmful, or that you’d be willing to accept this level of collateral damage. Your first suggestion, of eliminating all commentary, is the most egregious violation. Surely not all public commentary is harmful. Often times you see interesting discussions, sometimes between people with opposing viewpoints, other times just from people with additional knowledge or insight into a topic. Do you really believe it would be an acceptable option that all this should be eliminated because of a small portion of unpleasant people? Restricting anonymous posting wouldn’t have quite as dramatic of an effect, but would still eliminate a large portion of posting, of any variety. Consider that the local papers that require signups have, to ass-pull a number, about 1% of the discussion of those that do not. I know I do not post on any site that requires signing up, and yet I do not feel my posts generally count as “spewing”, although that is of course subject to debate. In addition to the safety and privacy aspects, there’s also technical ones, like additional hassle, or, like the Mad River Union and some other local sites, trying to force people into the evil blob that is facebook, something many of us will refuse to support. Requiring pre-approval of posts would place an undue burden on sites, and from what I’ve seen, virtually always results in effective elimination of public commentary, due to moderation backups, long durations between posts and replies resulting in people never following up to follow ups, and general annoyance causing people to decide posting isn’t worth it. And moderation of already posted content is the current state of affairs, which you seem to be objecting to as inadequate. Either of these requires someone to take on the role of thought police, and decide which opinions are worthy and which are not.

      And then there’s the ideals and the historic examples. Throughout history, many people, often even the majority of people in some areas, have tried to stifle any discussion of opposing viewpoints, such as any talk about equality. They have made many similar arguments. The fight for equality has long been intertwined with the right to express an opinion, and this is a fight Mr. King was himself involved in. Taking a stance against the very freedoms which helped the civil rights movement happen is disingenuous at best. There was a time when saying a colored person was equal to a white person could be considered criminally actionable, but freedom of speech won out, through a slow and bloody fight which saw many people jailed, or worse. The right to express your opinion, whether that opinion is politically correct, politically incorrect, disagreeable to the majority, or flat-out wrong, is one of the most fundamental rights we have, and we need to fight to preserve it, not undo its progress.

      Or, in short, the ends do not justify the means. Especially since the means being discussed are not a means towards the ends.

      • Very well said. Thank you.

        • Thanks. Glad someone likes it! 🙂

        • Looks like you might be the only one who likes it! Since LoCo pasted Donn’s reply above as an article, I pasted my response to it. It got removed. The irony of removing a post about not removing posts is very… something. 🙂

          • Why would anyone remove that? There’s nothing that’s too controversial for the Outpost. Are you sure you posted it? [Edit: I went over and found it. Looks like you did, too]

            • It seems to be in a state of quantum flux, alternating between “awaiting moderation” and simply non-existent. It showed up normally when I first posted it. The reply to it appears and disappears too. As to why… Maybe Mr. Sims is trolling everyone? Best answer I have! 🙂

              EDIT: Now it’s been moved from its original location (second comment to the article) to the very end of the comment list. Still pending moderation. Go figure! I could pretend to be upset and start screaming censorship, but I’m actually finding it pretty funny.

      • Bushytails, …. will you marry me?

    • suzy blah blah

      – Donn, the fast pace and knee jerk character of many comments posted to articles online exasperates the thing, while exciting and titillating, it closes down the use of imagination that you call for. Imagination, real imagination, is something highly lacking concerning this and many other issues in our culture. We casually say, “walk a mile in another’s shoes”, but who really goes very far into that? Imagination is an undervalued and underutilized tool. I am imagining we’re in agreement on that … thanks for your input.

  • White lives matter!!!!!!

  • Thinking allowed

    First the letter from the NAACP talks about the murder of Mr. Lawson as if there is no question that is was a racial attack even though nothing has been published that indicates this is established by any specific evidence. Then it complains that the healing from this racial incident is disrupted by the nasty remarks of commenters. And finally the solution touted is eliminating these comments.

    Of course, if it successfully eliminates anything that offends the Eureka Chapter of the NAACP, that also means there is no one to contradict them either. As it is, any such organization has a huge advantage in the media simply because they are an easy source of authoritative quotes for any reporter- they are not to be questioned because questioning makes the the questioner a racist. The usual response to any questioning of fact is the old ‘walk in their shoes’ remarks, which immediately puts blame on the questioner for daring to question.

    Frankly reading the uncommented first articles reporting about the crime left a totally different impression than exists at the moment. An article with only comments from angry friends of the deceased, as first reported, was clearly not all the information available, just the easiest to report. Without the willingness of the non standard press to publish other versions, many reporters would move on, leaving the first as the only version. This makes putting up with the accompanying muck of comments not only important but vital.

    I wonder if Mr. Peterson feels that the comments of Mr. Lawson’s friends, obviously hateful, should have been censored from the first reports. Is Mr. Peterson the sole arbiter of hatefulness? Someone must decide if any comments are allowed. I’d rather it be me deciding than someone doing it for me, however willing, even eager, the Eureka Chapter of the NAACP seems to be to take on the burden.

  • Lefthanded Lunatics

    One of the most amazing news items ever!
    Sorry, not into the whole race thing.
    It takes a lot of nerve to suggest something like this.
    I doubt we will stop commenting.

    • Taurus Ballzhoff

      Actually, one of the stupidest things written by civilized, educated people, I have ever read. Lurking in anonymity indeed…

      Commenting is entertaining, and even people that are too high to speak can post! That is REAL freedom!

      Hope you can spell though! This is Humboldt: Please don’t be rude or out of control, ever! Someone may criticize you or get you banned!

  • Shouldn’t the letter from the NAACP be signed by the actual author rather than a blanket agency credit? isn’t that a lack of transparency?

  • I do not agree with the NAACP on this at all! Great organization doing good stuff but trying to shut down our comments section? GTFO! This Lawson killing was a terrible thing. A young man lost his life. The initial news stories, mostly based on what one of his friends said jumped to presenting the killing as a racist act. The charges of racism have been stoked high in our community by this event. Not because of any facts! But because we love to believe that racism is strong and we feel responsible to respond to any charges of racism whatsoever. the downtown protest and blocking off of Safeway/CVS – hostile entrapment of people w/ zero police response- was stupid and dangerous whatever color your skin is. Now the NAACP comes down on our local blogs because the situation is hyped. I like our blogs! I like the comments section! A lot gets said here- especially about the marijuana industry and its corrupt policies- only because commenters are allowed anonymity. We do not have hate-filled racists joining others on here. We have some stupid trolls saying horrendous stuff but there they are! Now we can see them! I’d prefer they get their crap out so we can respond. This burying-it-under censorship approach is just more PC Mommy-state reaction that actualy leads to greater problems and festering, less-public racist groupings. I strongly disagree with the NAACP on this!!!

  • Did they ever find out what really happen that night?

  • CartOnTopOfHorse

    Racially based organaizations seem like a bad idea altogether at this point, BLM feel like post internet trolls with that cherry pick one way logic. To bad People jump on the sjw train without understanding where it leads. Don’t do it kym! Keep your mind.

  • The story starts with,young black man stabbed to death.. why not a young collage student stabbed to death. Not saying that this story,just saying it all starts with that COLOR thing. Just say a person. Lately all the stories I read or news I watch always says black kid,or black man.PERSON

    • It seems every story about a black person getting killed is sure to repeatedly point out that they were black, implying that being black was a factor in the outcome. For hate crimes, this is the case. But in many cases any other shade of person could have had the same unfortunate outcome. I agree – if race isn’t known to be a factor, don’t drag race into it.

  • CartOnTopOfHorse

    You guys are correct, If the narrative says don’t make a point of someone being black, then it should be applied all across the board. I was told black lives matter. Well, you did say black, Ya know. Lead by example Blm if you really want people on board. Take out the B. On a side note why is skin color so relavent. What if it had been eye color instead. *shrug*

  • Skimming through these comments, I wonder how long some people sit on the internet and argue back and forth to someone they have probably never met before.

    Absolutely amazes me how some people spend their free time.

  • White lives matter.

  • CartOnTopOfHorse

    Fair enough, You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

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