Cyber-attack Against AskScooby Forum Imminent
It has come to my attention that less than a handful of members are planning illegal cyber-attacks against the AskScooby Forum to try and shut down the forum unless member michaelzwarszawy is banned. We will not be blackmailed by a lynch mob. All precautions have been made against cyber-attack and in the unlikely event it should succeed, we have twice weekly backups that will be restored to a standby server.. Should the forum disappear, it will only be for a short time so please check scoobysworkshop.com for status. If you want to know who is making the threats, you just need look at the most vocal critics of our policy about Michael.
I’ve always believed in a person’s personal right to their freedom of speech. As I’ve aged and matured, this is something that’s become a fundamental pillar of my personal beliefs, even to the point I’m willing to let someone have an opinion that is the polar opposite of my own, as long as the forum isn’t a platform for those views and opinions to be aired. In this case, my personal beliefs have obviously put me in hot water with some very vocal members of the AskScooby forum.
In the past, people on my YouTube video comments have asked if I am Jewish or if I am gay. I have always responded with:
“I’m a gay African American Jew and if you can show me how any of those things relate to fitness I will gladly answer.”
Well, its only partially a joke because two out of the three are true. I am not turning a blind eye to Mike’s views because I’m not affected, Mike hates me and half the people I know. I feel so strongly about using our common bond of fitness to bridge cultural, religious, and political gaps to promote understanding that I want Mike in our community even though he hates me and many of my best friends.
There are quite a few people here who express views and opinions that I strongly disagree with, not just Mike, but I believe strongly in the right people have to express their opinions, whether or not I agree with them. This issue about Mike is obviously striking a cord with many members of this online community and passions have flared. Many of you have called me a hypocrite or accused me of burying my head in the sand, this is not the case at all. As I mention in my post Todays AskScooby Editorial, I feel strongly that this forum is a great place to set aside our differences and let our passion for fitness, health, and bodybuilding unite us and help us all work together from whatever walk of life we come from. The best way to change peoples racist opinions is not ostracism, that just breeds further racism. In my opinion, the best way to combat racism is thru the slow education process that integration facilitates. The gay rights movement did not make its progress in the last 40 years by ostracizing homophobes, it made its progress by bringing gay people into the worlds living room thru TV like “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” which broke down stereotypes.
I am more disturbed by Mike’s views than most of you. The problem is that even tossing one rule-abiding member out for their opinions starts down a very slippery slope. I couldn’t with a clear conscience throw Mike out of the forum without kicking a number of people out with him. It really pisses me off when people hide their racism with veils, like the people who really hate our president just because of the color of his skin and then come up with BS excuses to hate him like “he isn’t a citizen” or “Obama is a Muslim” or “Obama supports agenda 21″. Then there are the people who hate Hispanics, Asians, or Indians who come up with all kinds of BS anti-immigrant excuses like “they cost the tax payers too much money” or “they are taking American jobs”. Then there are the anti-Semitic people who have long learned to speak in codes to hide their hate for Jews, they speak of the worlds problems as being caused by “international bankers”, “movie moguls”, or “jewelry exporters”. In my views, these people are even more ban-worthy than Mike is because they know their racist views are wrong and they are trying to hide it. I am not interested in never ending moral arguments about whose hateful opinion is ban-worthy and whose is not. We need to educate these folks thru integration, not ban them.
For those who have been here a long time, you might remember that Mike was not only member #22 on this forum but was also one of the most respected and most loved of moderators for several years here. I was very disappointed when I found out his views and some of you seem to have forgotten that I relieved him of his moderation duties within minutes of his views being made clear to me. You may also may have forgotten how unpopular I was for demoting Mike at that time, there was nearly a lynch mob against ME for demoting him. You might ask what the difference is, why I didn’t ban him completely at that time. Its because this forum has MY name on it and the moderators are MY representatives. I couldn’t have someone representing me who had views so diametrically opposed to mine. I feel then as I do now, all members are welcome here regardless of whether they hold my moral views or not.
I will not allow a blackmailing lynch mob decide which members get banned. Everyone who obeys the forum rules while they are here is welcome. To the handful of you planning this illegal cyber-attack, I *will* prosecute and I have every IP address you have ever used. How sure are you that you have never slipped up and used an IP that will lead police to your doorstep?
These are my final words on this subject. These are my feelings and opinions on the matter of free speech and I won’t be discussing this any further. For the current forum members who continue to disagree with this “freedom of opinion and speech” stance, I invite them to move to a different fitness community that more closely aligns with their beliefs.