Opinion

I have worked for The Reflector's editorial board for two years now, and I started off as the Opinion Editor. I am the first to admit, when I ran Opinion, it was very liberal. It was the beginning of President Donald Trump’s term—how could it not be liberal?

If a story fell through, I knew The Almighty Powerful Orange Parakeet had done some stupid, "covfefe," stroked-out-on-Twitter thing to serve as back up. I failed at diversifying my staff and their opinions, and I failed to diversify my section’s overall content, as it was mostly political.

For these reasons, I was not the best Opinion Editor in the time I have spent here. However, the two opinion editors following me learned from my mistakes, and have done a wonderful job diversifying their staffs and content.

But based on the comments our articles receive, you would never know. Let me say, the amount of purely incomprehensible and inconceivably stupid backlash our Opinion section has received over this semester alone has blown me away.

Our typical feedback is as follows: we run an article in which a writer takes a stance, and typically if it leans left, the right readers are infuriated we dare run a Left-ish article, saying we are turning into a "libtard" publication etc., while a few randoms come to our defense and reiterate it was run in the Opinion section.

Now typically, our most outraged readers are angry little old white women on Facebook—whose connection to The Reflector, or even Mississippi State University, I cannot find, despite my "investigations"—complaining how we are white noise and lib-washing our paper. But the thing is, they completely ignore when we post super right-winged things.

For example, last week Michael Bourgeois wrote a  pro-life article. Where was the pissed off Right Mafia raising their pitchforks in glee instead of anger? To the people who commented on the same article and said The Reflector took a hard-right turn, did you see the three articles in the same issue on Pride—or did you just decide to ignore those to make your own opinions feel relevant?

Why are you, as a reader, so defensive anyway? Do you mean to tell me you have such little confidence in your own beliefs, you refuse to listen, or rather read, the beliefs of others in fear you might lose some of your close-mindedness charm?

Opinion pieces in Opinion sections are not reflective of the publication—that is why there are editorials. Those are reflective of the editorial staff. Every other opinion piece is not an editorial unless labeled as such, and it is simply the opinion of the writer.

So next time you want to complain about The Reflector as a whole, derailing to one side or the other, unless it is marked with a giant, all-caps "EDITORIAL," hop off.

This is the opinion section—if you dislike the opinions of our writers, then you may leave. No need to announce your departure, this is not an airport (a special thanks to one of my favorite Facebook comment fights for this gem of a saying).

So here is the thing, fortunately or unfortunately, as I am about to graduate and the new editorial staff takes over, this is my last issue as an editor for The Reflector.

So far, for two whole years, I have managed to bite my tongue and tie my hands. But now that I will no longer professionally represent The Reflector, all restraints are off, and you can bet your asshat ways you will find me in your comments, defending our writers' platform.

(1) comment

Rmyers33

"I am the first to admit, when I ran Opinion, it was very liberal. It was the beginning of President Donald Trump’s term—how could it not be liberal?"

Is that a real question? It could have been close to a 50/50 split in ideologies, which it more closely resembles now. Good on our author for admitting their failings.

"Opinion pieces in Opinion sections are not reflective of the publication—that is why there are editorials. Those are reflective of the editorial staff. Every other opinion piece is not an editorial unless labeled as such, and it is simply the opinion of the writer."

Oh, we know. Everyone knows. I went back and read the comments on every opinion piece this semester and I didn't see any comments that appeared rude or crass whatsoever. I checked the Facebook page and saw lots of hot takes that weren't well thought out or constructive. But then I wouldn't imagine social media to be the stoa our great philosophers are crowding around to discuss "what is the good?"

"But the thing is, they completely ignore when we post super right-winged things."

Yes. And water is wet. Most people don't generally take the time to comment on things they agree with. They'll nod and move on with their day.

"Do you mean to tell me you have such little confidence in your own beliefs, you refuse to listen, or rather read, the beliefs of others in fear you might lose some of your close-mindedness charm?"

No, I think the confidence in their beliefs are why most people take the time to comment, especially where it's clear that the author has missed something glaring which led to their current stated position.

I'll concede there are some that will lash out claiming the paper is biased due simply to the fact that most of the media is biased. Once again, good on our author for admitting her own bias during her run. However, it seems our author is a little in her feelings for what is the most routine aspect of being a member of the media; albeit however small a member the Reflector represents.

"This is the opinion section—if you dislike the opinions of our writers, then you may leave."

That's not how this works. People ought to comment and share their opinions about other's stated opinions - that's how society operates best; when we all have an idea about what everyone else is thinking. That said, commenters shouldn't seek to insult or be rude in the process of sharing their thoughts.

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