Hey, everyone, it's my last post on all this foolishness. I'd like to get back to the fun stuff. First, a tremendous thank you to everyone who's emailed, linked or IMed me in the last few days. I've learned a lot and am quite pleased overall with the end results of what's transpired. After replying to every one of the emails I've gotten so far, and visiting sites where the topic's been discussed, I think I've had a chance to talk to people on all sides of this issue, and it's been engaging, illuminating and educational.
To break it down to raw stats, I sent about 150 emails and read or wrote comments on about 35 websites, and I had 4 people apologize, 3 or 4 begrudgingly afford me their respect, and most satisfyingly, 7 people who changed their minds. I couldn't really have asked for a better response. Another handful of people told me that they read LGF for the news and links but were afraid to voice the same objections I had for fear of facing, well, what I did.
Charles posted his last word on the subject, including a reference to the fact that on one thread I called him a racist in the heat of anger based on having read a different version of the text being discussed at the time. Though I didn't use the word "retract", I did retract my statement as soon as I realized my error. I had assumed, apparently incorrectly, that when I said yesterday "But let me be clear. I don't think Charles is a racist." that it was clear that I was saying I don't think Charles is a racist. Some of the same people who missed that point may have missed the implicit :) smiley after my invitation to kiss my big brown butt. I had thought that would be obvious as well, as my butt is not very big.
Regrettably, I had to turn off comments on that discussion. It had devolved into a shouting match between people who had long since lost sight of whatever points they were ostensibly trying to make. But I do think these are important topics that are worth discussing, and it's been fascinating just from an objective standpoint to watch the sociology and human dynamics involved in all of this.
As a show of good faith that I'm still interested in engaging in a dialogue with anyone interested in this topic, I'd like to offer some future ways to talk to me about this, as I won't be posting about it on my site anymore. Anyone who's interested in discussing these topics can, of course, email me at email@example.com or IM me on any of the major instant messaging services at the name anildash or call me at +1 917 892 5519. I can't promise I'll answer that phone right away, as I don't usually take calls while I'm working, but if you leave a message, I'll call you back.
Also, anyone who is a regular visitor or commenter on Little Green Footballs who is, or will be, in downtown Manhattan in the next month is welcome to contact me via one of those methods if they want to meet up for drinks or coffee, on me. If there's enough response, we'll put together a dinner, my treat. And we don't have to talk about any of this stuff, we can talk about the potential and future of weblogs as a medium, or discuss the finer points of soul music, or whatever you're interested in. Mr. Taranto, if you're still reading, the offer still applies, but you have to pay for your own drinks.
I look forward to your responses, and thanks again to everyone for taking part in the conversation.