I Am Not Your Slave

 

The constant attacks on American citizens who are white are absurd and insulting. The commentary insisting that all whites must be racist is bizarre and on a closer look, based on no facts at all. I’ve decided that I’ve had enough of these intended insults. (I can only be insulted if I accept the observations.) I’m pushing back. I realize that some black Americans and people on the Left would be outraged at my ideas, and if they had the opportunity would vehemently chastise me.

I don’t care.

I only care about living a life of integrity, about being a good person to my fellow man (no matter what the person’s color is), and to make good choices. No person has the right to force me to think or behave in a particular way—a person can certainly try, but I will ignore their intimidation tactics and efforts to humiliate me.

Let me explain why the efforts to coerce me into thinking or acting in a particular way is not only a waste of time, but it defies everything this country stands for. My arguments appear below:

  1. My strongest argument is that you have no scientific data that says a person is born or will become inherently racist. Just because a person is a scientist or creates facts to support his or her position does not make this statement true. We are, of course, influenced by our culture and its norms; our families, teachers, and all relationships have an impact on our worldviews. But I have something called agency: nothing can force me to be racist. Anyone who purports to present data otherwise is providing opinion, not fact.
  2. You are totally incapable of knowing my mind, how I feel, or how I think. My mind is not open to your analysis, and at any given time you are not able to know my thoughts, unless I choose to share them with you. So, your stating whether or not I have racist thoughts or how I created them is impossible; therefore, stating that my racism is unconscious is illogical.
  3. Your assessment that we live in a racist society cannot be ascertained. At what point is any society racist? How many members of society need to be racist to justify labeling the entire society racist? Is a society racist if 1%, 5%, or 10% of its members are racist? Must every single person be purged of his or her racist ideas for a society to be free of racism? What tools or criteria will you use to measure the degree of racism in society? What makes your tools or criteria legitimate?
  4. You say that if I don’t speak out or act to support your claims about racism, I am complicit. If your claims are not legitimate, what am I complicit in? Who are you to decide how I should live my life? Who are you to demand that I act for a cause that I don’t think is legitimate? Even if there are racists in this country (and I’m sure there are), why do I have to take action against them? What makes your cause stand out against all the rest of the needs of society?
  5. I will reject any demands to tell me how to think about anything, including racism. You have no authority to tell me how to think. If I’m racist, you have no right to tell me to reject those ideas. You are free to say that if I have racist thoughts, I will act on them. The fact is, I may or may not act on them. I may simply keep them to myself. That is my right–I’m not racist, by the way—but of course, you will likely not believe me, and that is also your right. I accept that you have this choice.
  6. When I explain the reasons that I am not a racist, I am not defending myself, although you may claim that I am. I don’t need to defend myself; I’m simply sharing my opinions, my point of view. But if you choose to see those as defensive statements, fine.
  7. When I give an opinion on racism or current events, it is just that: an opinion. I am not required to be deeply informed on the history of racism or its current iteration. I will also decide the subjects on which I want to be educated; you have no say in that decision. So if you believe that I am not sufficiently educated on racism, that’s unfortunate.
  8. I refuse to live my life in the framework of racial stereotypes: white, black, Asian, Hispanic, or otherwise. Yes, some of the descriptions of races may or may not be true. But I will be the one to decide, person-by-person, which descriptions are legitimate. And those choices do not require your approval.
  9. This country guarantees me freedom of expression. Your efforts to silence me defy the Constitution and I will disregard them.
  10. I regret that some of you believe that your violence and disruption for your cause are legitimate acts. That the destruction of businesses and homes of citizens is acceptable. I reject your opinion.

The conclusions you draw about me based on the points listed above are your opinions. They have no more legitimacy than my own opinions. You are entitled to them, as I am to mine. You have no power to force me to do anything: change my mind, take a stand, support your causes, confess my beliefs, or legitimize your positions. Your intention to improve equality and justice in this country is admirable; your strategies are abominable. As long as I live in this free society, I will make my own choices, my own decisions, voice my own heartfelt opinions and share my ideas. You have no authority to dictate any of those.

I am not your slave.

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  1. Juliana Member
    Juliana
    @Juliana

    Susan Quinn

    1. When I give an opinion on racism or current events, it is just that: an opinion. I am not required to be deeply informed on the history of racism or its current iteration. I will also decide the subjects on which I want to be educated; you have no say in that decision. So if you believe that I am not sufficiently educated on racism, that’s unfortunate.

    This was actually your 7th point – quoting it conveniently renumbered it for me.

    While this is a sentiment that I agree with, it is not always possible unless you own your own business. Employers can demand that you be educated on a number of subjects, especially those concerned with ‘diversity.’ While I can decide how I want to interpret that education, it is most often not in my best interest to dispute any of that education out loud. There are no honest conversations. That is just a euphemism for ‘you will believe what I tell you.’

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Juliana (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn

    1. When I give an opinion on racism or current events, it is just that: an opinion. I am not required to be deeply informed on the history of racism or its current iteration. I will also decide the subjects on which I want to be educated; you have no say in that decision. So if you believe that I am not sufficiently educated on racism, that’s unfortunate.

    This was actually your 7th point – quoting it conveniently renumbered it for me.

    While this is a sentiment that I agree with, it is not always possible unless you own your own business. Employers can demand that you be educated on a number of subjects, especially those concerned with ‘diversity.’ While I can decide how I want to interpret that education, it is most often not in my best interest to dispute any of that education out loud. There are no honest conversations. That is just a euphemism for ‘you will believe what I tell you.’

    Those are legitimate concerns, @juliana. I thought about the fact that others may not be able to follow my example because of companies they work for. I don’t expect people to give up their jobs. I am very interested in knowing how people might protest efforts by companies to force them to comply. I will say that I don’t participate on any social media platform except Ricochet; I am simply unwilling to subject myself to the garbage that would come at me.

    • #2
  3. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I’ve been thinking about this for a few days, and it’s a sign of being cowed that I haven’t been able to find a “comfortable” way to say it–especially in a post headed for the Main Feed.

    But here goes.   The concept that whites cannot be victims of racism, and that non-whites cannot be racists, is underpinning a substantial amount of what you seem to be getting at above.

    Of course, to many that don’t know me, I’ve just identified myself as a “white supremacist.”

    • #3
  4. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    I supported the effort of Commentary to lay out a set of principles to counter the current cancel culture.  I think we need a similar set to counter the current attempt of the left to set themselves up as sole authorities on what is and is not racist and who is and is not racist.  This is a very good start, but I think it has to be stronger.  I think it starts from two basic principles:

    1. your point #5 above:  I will reject any demands to tell me how to think about anything, including racism. 
    2.  The corollary:  I do not recognize the SJW mob as authorities on racism or any other type of ism.  

    Once we have these, perhaps we can stop explaining ourselves and being on the defensive all the time to prove we are not racists.  

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I wonder if we could use the tactics of the Left against them. For example, if an employer tried to force me to say or participate in anything that went against my own beliefs. How about a “hostile work environment”?

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    But here goes. The concept that whites cannot be victims of racism, and that non-whites cannot be racists, is underpinning a substantial amount of what you seem to be getting at above.

    This belief has stuck in my craw for a long time. I decided not to address it, but it certainly could be included in the list. It’s at least part of my point. The idea that blacks can’t be racist because they are victims of racism is ridiculous. Thanks, @hoyacon.

    • #6
  7. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    We are told that Homosexuality and Trans genderism should not be considered choices, nor moral issues,  as they were ‘born that way’.  It’s out of their control, so they should not be judged nor denied their demands of total acceptance and instead it requires celebration of those lifestyles.

    If I’m born racist due to my pallor, then doesn’t that justify me being racist? It’s not a choice!

    If I’m un redeemably racist due to my genetic whiteness, then why would I make any effort to not act in a racist manner?  It won’t make any difference!

    It’s all so hypocritical.  It is no more sensible to claim that all whites are X then to say all blacks are X or all women are X, you name it.  I thought most of us were past that level of ignorance, but apparently ignorance is making a comeback!

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):
    Once we have these, perhaps we can stop explaining ourselves and being on the defensive all the time to prove we are not racists.

    I don’t feel defensive at all. And I would only bring it up if it came up in conversation and the other person was interested. If you want to know why I know I’m not racist, I’ll tell you. Otherwise, I won’t. I missed the Commentary set of principles and will review them. Thanks, @gossamercat!

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    PHenry (View Comment):
    It’s all so hypocritical. It is no more sensible to claim that all whites are X then to say all blacks are X or all women are X, you name it. I thought most of us were past that level of ignorance, but apparently ignorance is making a comeback! 

    No kidding! Although I think ignorance has a perpetual place in our society and conversations, @phenry! And the ability to have conflicting ideas is endemic to the Left.

    • #9
  10. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    But here goes. The concept that whites cannot be victims of racism, and that non-whites cannot be racists, is underpinning a substantial amount of what you seem to be getting at above.

    This belief has stuck in my craw for a long time. I decided not to address it, but it certainly could be included in the list. It’s at least part of my point. The idea that blacks can’t be racist because they are victims of racism is ridiculous. Thanks, @hoyacon.

    I should add that what once might have been controversial doesn’t always have to be controversial in light of newer events that up the ante.  

     

    • #10
  11. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Susan,

    Of course I agree, but I don’t think your approach is efficient.

    You’re taking a defensive position.  And this creates the awkward item 6, defending your defensive position as not defending yourself.  

    You need to make the opposition do the hard work, and watch them fail.

    Check out Scott Adams’ twitter feed the past 10 days or so.  He offered a challenge for anybody to come up with an example of systemic racism.  And he gave them a week.  And the only example of systemic racism that anybody was  able to come up with was affirmative action programs.  “And I’m told that those don’t count.”

    Scott Adams is a very good resource for this sort of thing.

    • #11
  12. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I’ve been thinking about this for a few days, and it’s a sign of being cowed that I haven’t been able to find a “comfortable” way to say it–especially in a post headed for the Main Feed.

    But here goes. The concept that whites cannot be victims of racism, and that non-whites cannot be racists, is underpinning a substantial amount of what you seem to be getting at above.

    Of course, to many that don’t know me, I’ve just identified myself as a “white supremacist.”

    Yes, and you’ve also exposed your “white fragility.”

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    Susan,

    Of course I agree, but I don’t think your approach is efficient.

    You’re taking a defensive position. And this creates the awkward item 6, defending your defensive position as not defending yourself.

    You need to make the opposition do the hard work, and watch them fail.

    Check out Scott Adams’ twitter feed the past 10 days or so. He offered a challenge for anybody to come up with an example of systemic racism. And he gave them a week. And the only example of systemic racism that anybody was able to come up with was affirmative action programs. “And I’m told that those don’t count.”

    Scott Adams is a very good resource for this sort of thing.

    I think Scott’s exercise is interesting, but I’m not persuaded that it’s “more efficient.” As you could see, he didn’t get a response. Effectively, they don’t care about defining their terms; they think they are self-evident. And they’ll ignore his call.

    I’m sorry that I sound defensive to you. I felt like I was putting the Left on notice. You can lecture me, insult me, attack me, and I don’t care. You can keep pounding away and I don’t care. Eventually I hope you’ll get tired of my non-participation and go somewhere else–like to the fool who will kneel for you. That doesn’t sound defensive to me. And I hope I don’t sound defensive! ;-)

    • #13
  14. Joshua Bissey Coolidge
    Joshua Bissey
    @TheSockMonkey

    Great stuff, @susanquinn. I don’t think point #3 goes nearly far enough. It’s not just that the racism of a society can’t be reliably quantified. What’s going on, and has been going on at least since the Great Trumpening, is gas-lighting to make us think we live in a white supremacist country. We can know, and we do know, that’s far from the truth. I’m worried about the minority children being brought up to live in fear, and the white children being taught such self-loathing.

    • #14
  15. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Rod Dreher has been frequently quoting Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s mantra “Live not by lies” as advice for us all.  Sign onto nothing, participate in nothing, verbally agree to nothing, not for gain, not for protection, not to be nice, not to “keep the peace”, not even for your life, if you cannot agree with such statements 100%.

    This new fanaticism is nothing more a revamped and reinvigorated blood libel that we have seen before, time and again, and always with disastrous results.  As Dreher put it this morning, this could well lead to a Rwanda-type of mass violence and murder, and utterly destroy this country.

    • #15
  16. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I think Scott’s exercise is interesting, but I’m not persuaded that it’s “more efficient.” As you could see, he didn’t get a response. Effectively, they don’t care about defining their terms; they think they are self-evident. And they’ll ignore his call.

    Oh no; he got a bazillion responses.  And they were all flailing.   And in the process, made his point.

    And we now have a powerful debate weapon in our utility belt.  Actually, two or three.

    I’m sorry that I sound defensive to you.

    I didn’t say you sounded defensive.  I said you were taking a defensive position.  Very different.

    I’m saying that it’s more efficient to force your opponent take the defensive position.  Defending their accusation, for instance.

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):
    I’m worried about the minority children being brought up to live in fear, and the white children being taught such self-loathing.

    Great points, @joshuabissey! These are legitimate concerns, as are your other points! What are we doing to our children?? It is criminal, abusive.

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Rod Dreher has been frequently quoting Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s mantra “Live not by lies” as advice for us all. Sign onto nothing, participate in nothing, verbally agree to nothing, not for gain, not for protection, not to be nice, not to “keep the peace”, not even for your life, if you cannot agree with such statements 100%.

    This new fanaticism is nothing more a revamped and reinvigorated blood libel that we have seen before, time and again, and always with disastrous results. As Dreher put it this morning, this could well lead to a Rwanda-type of mass violence and murder, and utterly destroy this country.

    I love that statement. How much have we, as individuals and a country, been compromising and compromised! It is hard to fight against the deluge of oppressive ideas against America, but somehow–somehow–we must!

    • #18
  19. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    PHenry (View Comment):
    It’s all so hypocritical. It is no more sensible to claim that all whites are X then to say all blacks are X or all women are X, you name it. I thought most of us were past that level of ignorance, but apparently ignorance is making a comeback!

    No kidding! Although I think ignorance has a perpetual place in our society and conversations, @phenry! And the ability to have conflicting ideas is endemic to the Left.

    The irony is so deep that it’s impossible to wade through.  The moral force behind the civil rights movement was that we as Americans weren’t living up to our ideals as embodied in the Bible and the Declaration of Independence:

    1. We are all created in the image of God
    2. We are all created equal in the eyes of God
    3. We are all equal under the law

    As Dr. Martin Luther King put it:

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    Now to voice such a dream would be considered racist.  The new vision is one in which we are to be judged by our intersectionality “score,” rather than by our character or our actions.  The logical end is that we be rated and then have a patch sewn on our clothes so that people can immediately see how we rank in the victimhood scale.  Those at the high end of the scale automatically win every argument, every court dispute, every job opening.  Those at the low end move to the back of the bus.  In our quest for “cosmic justice” (as Thomas Sowell put it), we’re creating a sea of endless injustice.

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    PHenry (View Comment):
    It’s all so hypocritical. It is no more sensible to claim that all whites are X then to say all blacks are X or all women are X, you name it. I thought most of us were past that level of ignorance, but apparently ignorance is making a comeback!

    No kidding! Although I think ignorance has a perpetual place in our society and conversations, @phenry! And the ability to have conflicting ideas is endemic to the Left.

    The irony is so deep that it’s impossible to wade through. The original idea behind, and justification for, the civil rights movement was that we as Americans weren’t living up to our ideals as embodied in the Bible and the Declaration of Independence:

    1. We are all created in the image of God
    2. We are all created equal in the eyes of God
    3. We are all equal under the law

    As Dr. Martin Luther King put it:

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    Now, to voice such a dream would be considered racist. The new vision is one in which we are to be judged by our intersectionality “score,” rather than by our character or our actions. The logical end is that we be rated and then have a patch sewn on our clothes so that people can immediately see how we rank in the victimhood scale. Those at the high end of the scale automatically win every argument, every court dispute, every job opening. Those at the low end move to the back of the bus. In our quest for “cosmic justice” (as Thomas Sowell put it), we’re creating a sea of endless injustice.

    Double like.

    • #20
  21. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Susan Quinn: I am not your slave.

    Yes! And I will not kneel!

    • #21
  22. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Suzanne,

    BLM/Antifa supports a Marxist narrative that is oblivious to facts and assumes a preconceived set of beliefs not allowing any deviation from their party line.

    1. Systemic Racism – Racism is a characteristic by birth there are no beliefs of the individual involved.
    2. America created slavery and specifically racial slavery.
    3. Given #1 and #2, the only solution is the destruction of the “system”.

    Number 1: This is the product of a philosophical system that simply does not recognize individual autonomy. This system assumes humans to be purely products of their society. I recommend that going back all the way to Hegel will make one realize just how deep this belief system is embedded. Hegel, BTW, is an agnostic formalist. Marx follows most of Hegel’s ideas closely. However, Marx ups the epistemological ante and is a full atheist materialist determinist. Either Marx or Hegel would approve of the three beliefs mentioned above.

    Number 2: This is the product of a completely distorted false history that has been designed specifically to gaslight the average member of Western society. Slavery existed in almost every known society. I mention the Islamic Slave Trade because it existed from the 9th century on and was very involved with obtaining black African slaves. They preyed upon the east coast of Africa rather than the west coast that the much later European Slave trade concentrated on. Islamic Slavery was exceptionally brutal and ruthless. Most importantly, one should realize that the only civilization that ever made slavery permanently illegal was post-enlightenment Western Civilization.

    Number 3: Our “system” if that is what you call it has three unique features. First, a belief in a democratic/rights/rule of law political system. Second, on top of the political system, is a free enterprise capitalist economic system. Third, we hold heterosexual monogamy as our gold standard of moral sexual behavior.

    In defense of our system let me make a few points. First, The democratic/rights/rule of law political system amongst many other desirable attributes is the main reason that post-enlightenment Western Civilization could make slavery permanently illegal. Second, the free enterprise capitalist economic system (to quote Milton Friedman) is the only system in human history to lift the great mass of the people up from subsistence poverty. Third, heterosexual monogamy was codified in Judeo-Christian Western Civilization approximately 1,000 years ago. It is the only system in human history to give the woman such a protected role. The equal treatment of women derives from this system. Deviation from the “system” such as the acceptance of transgenderism undermines the rights of women.

    We are being gaslighted by BLM/Antifa and the whole team of left-wing hangers-on in academia, the media, and government. In short Suzanne, your opinions have a great deal more legitimacy then BLM/Antifa.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    In short Suzanne, your opinions have a great deal more legitimacy then BLM/Antifa.

    Regards,

    Phew! That’s good to know. I was a little worried for a minute! Seriously, I know you have a strong background in Hegel and Marx and I appreciate your sharing that understanding with us. And your first points are spot on. I doubt that most on the Left know this information and probably don’t care. They just want to wipe us out, and that’s enough for them. Sigh.

    Thanks, @jamesgawron.

    • #23
  24. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    BLM/Antifa supports a Marxist narrative that is oblivious to facts and assumes a preconceived set of beliefs not allowing any deviation from their party line.

    1. Systemic Racism – Racism is a characteristic by birth there are no beliefs of the individual involved.
    2. America created slavery and specifically racial slavery.
    3. Given #1 and #2, the only solution is the destruction of the “system”.

    I’m seeing something slightly different:

    1. Whatever…
    2. Whatever…
    3. Given #1 and #2, the only solution is the destruction of the “system”.

    And it’s effective because any debate about 1 and 2 turns out not to matter; they’re just fabricated to make a case for 3.

    • #24
  25. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    They begin by destroying statues. They will end by destroying people. “Damn white men” they wrote on the Washington statue. Believe them. Something very, very powerful is happening here. Either we fight it, and fight it seriously, or we don’t. Either we defeat them, or we will be defeated by them. The fight is not just in the streets, with anarchists who desecrate monuments, but in classrooms, in families, in hearts and in minds.

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    They begin by destroying statues. They will end by destroying people. “Damn white men” they wrote on the Washington statue. Believe them. Something very, very powerful is happening here. Either we fight it, and fight it seriously, or we don’t. Either we defeat them, or we will be defeated by them. The fight is not just in the streets, with anarchists who desecrate monuments, but in classrooms, in families, in hearts and in minds.

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/

    He’s right. And it makes my heart ache.

    • #26
  27. Weeping Member
    Weeping
    @Weeping

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    But here goes. The concept that whites cannot be victims of racism, and that non-whites cannot be racists, is underpinning a substantial amount of what you seem to be getting at above.

    Yes! One of the biggest problems with the discussion about race and relationships is that the words “racism” and “racist” seem to have been redefined in the last few years. When I was growing up, action was generally involved in being a racist. You thought something, you said something, you did something – all things you could control and possibly change. Nowadays, it seems like you’re often deemed a racist for something you have no control over – the color of your skin. So tell me why I should care if someone thinks I’m a racist because of something I have no control over and can not change? In their view, I’ll always be racist, so why should I care?

    • #27
  28. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    I mean, what did Marx know about the worker/bourgeois class struggle he wrote about so much and with so much specificity.  The guy never had a job.

     

    • #28
  29. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    I mean, what did Marx know about the worker/bourgeois class struggle he wrote about so much and with so much specificity. The guy never had a job.

    Don,

    That’s not completely true (just mostly). Marx moved to Cologne in 1842, where he became a journalist, writing for the radical newspaper Rheinische Zeitung (Rhineland News), expressing his early views on socialism and his developing interest in economics.

    I have a very nasty pet name for certain members of this profession. As some of them are not that different from the oldest profession, I call them Journotrash. Marx qualified.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #29
  30. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Great post, Susan.  May there be more and more like it.  Let Pelosi and others debase themselves by kneeling in supplication — in one way or another.  We on Ricochet won’t bend a knee and we won’t be intimidated by the mean-spirited and virtue-signaling marchers and mobs who have become the darlings of the media.

    Let’s hope that your clear resolve will be echoed all around the internet. I think it’s about time that the Great Pushback occurs. 

    • #30