Arguing on the internet rarely ever accomplishes anything, but I believe it does have the potential to become a positive force for social change if used with care and discretion.
Getting angry about injustice is a good thing. Sending hate, being bitter and spiteful, and mocking people is a bad thing. I believe that kindness towards people is never a bad approach.
Calling out bad and toxic opinions, however, is appropriate and justified.
I will not muddle the issue here: if your beliefs and opinions are called out for being bad, you may be offended, confused, and hurt.
Being hurt and feeling like people are disrespecting your opinions is entirely different from people disrespecting your worth as a human. This means that not tolerating someone for a personal trait is not the same thing as not tolerating someone's opinions.
Personal traits such as sexuality, gender identity, skin tone, etc, are not decisions that can be changed through argument and are therefore not equal to opinions and beliefs.
So being kind to people, that's an imperative. Accepting their toxic beliefs is not because it is not an intrinsic part of who they are. You may be hurt that someone has disrespected your opinion. That's understandable and that's acceptable. But don't equate the worth of that belief with the worth of a human being. They're not the same. This isn't a debatable issue, they simply aren't.
So here's what I'm saying. None of us should simply accept toxic views. It's our job to not only call out dangerous and offensive ideas, but more importantly to educate the person with those beliefs as to why they are wrong. Without education, informed change cannot happen. But disrespecting the misinformed person, that's not cool.
Let me clarify: I have not seen any disrespectful behavior towards members come out of these debates. I have, however, noticed a negative and unhealthy attitude spring from my own words and actions over the past few months, and it personally concerns me. I apologize for anyone I've lashed out at. I'm not going to say that to be hurtful wasn't my intention, because it was. I was wrong to say many of the things I've said both on and off site and I'll be attempting to readjust my attitude to be a better person to everyone here in my community.
Arguing isn't really worth anything to me, so I won't be responding with anything that doesn't need to be said.