CADY McCLAIN

Director, Producer, Artist

Freedom of Speech

Posted on: April 22, 2011

I just want you all to know how much I appreciate all your comments and insights into the tragedy that has recently occurred in the world of daytime TV.

I am so impressed with the intelligence and insights that I have read, and the enormous amount of caring and time that has gone into them.

Other than what I recently posted on Facebook, I am not sure I have too much to add. Perhaps I will soon.

Here is a link to that page:

http://www.facebook.com/CadyMcClain

I had dinner with a few friends who I know from “ATWT” and although we all had a great time being together, it was clear that we were all in a state of sadness and disbelief. We all knew it was coming, but hoped against hope that someone would be allowed to step in and change things, like Gloria Monty did with GH back in the 80’s. I wonder sometimes if we were just on the verge of that happening, when the plug was pulled. We will never know.

On the subject of speaking out against something you are unhappy about, I feel the need to say a few words.

I doubt anyone wants to hear the voice of “temperance” right now, but I do think we all need to remember the power of words. I think constructive action and thoughtful, unwavering persuasion is a mighty sword, but we do not need to hate or be hurtful to be effective. Sometimes we do need to shout to be heard, but we must not hate. We need to stand our ground, fight for what we believe in and keep our human values unwavering.

I have read now about several young women who have had to get police protection because they received death threats via the internet. These are just the ones I have heard about.

I think you would agree that this is serious and terrible. No matter how much you dislike someone, it’s not right to threaten their life. No matter how much we disagree with someone, it is their right to express themselves, or make choices that we might not approve of.

I love the internet. I love freedom of speech. I love being able to connect with people from around the world. But I do not love the mob mentality that it can whip up, and the damage that can do.

Please, don’t think I mean “stop speaking out”.

Disagree. Get angry. Make a campaign. March in the street. Be heard. But don’t stalk someone, or threaten their life, or destroy their house or steal their cat, and please don’t encourage anyone else to do that for you, either.

It’s wrong. Simple as that.

Most people know this. Most people are fully aware, thoughtful, kind, caring individuals. But something about the anonymity of the internet can “release the beast” in some people- as if the people they are hurting aren’t as real as they are. I assure you, they are.

We are all flesh and blood. Full of feeling, full of mistakes, full of the desire to love and be loved. If someone threw dog poop at your house, wouldn’t you be mad?

Isn’t this just another form of bullying? It’s wrong, no matter HOW angry you might be.

The internet is a powerful tool. Let us use it wisely.

If you don’t know what I am referring to, here are some links:

KIKI KANNIBAL

REBECCA BLACK

SOPHIE FOXLEY

I have been through serious harassment personally from more than one person. If you don’t know already let me tell you- it hurts. No matter what you say, it doesn’t matter, they continue until police get involved. I have had my tires slashed, nasty and personal blog posts put online, been stalked at my place of work and had to hire both detectives and lawyers to stop the harassment, and trust me, they can stop it, but it’s not fun. Not fun at all.

These girls do not deserve this hatred. I did not.

All I am saying is: before you post something, THINK about how you would feel if someone said the same thing about YOU.

We have to remember that we are ALL capable of both great and terrible things. Sometimes life DOES hurt a lot, and we want to strike out and defend ourselves, say “I didn’t deserve this so I am gonna take it out on you!” It’s really natural and human. But if you dig deep, most people know deep down that it isn’t right, and the hurt and the pain just circle around and around again.

There is goodness in the world. It is full of power, too, just of a different kind. It feels softer. It feels BETTER. It brings us TOGETHER in spirit- which feels GREAT.

Be brave…. be smart…. BE KIND. And if you can’t be kind: please, don’t hurt anyone.

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