Shocked and appalled!
As I was doing a search for an article I had written on an entirely different topic, I was stunned to discover that I was quoted in an article called “Are Leftists Literally Addicted to Hatred?” The author had pulled my quote from an article I had written about anger that he used to justify his point.
The neurotransmitter chemicals known as catecholamines are released causing a blast of kinetic energy that can last a few minutes. In a counterintuitive way, feeling bad sometimes feels good. Like any addiction, anger can induce discharge of dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. The adrenalin rush contributes to a sense of strength and invulnerability… it creates a sense of aliveness.
This was the original article that I wrote from which he excerpted called Is Anger An Addiction.
After I regained my composure by taking a deep breath, I contacted the publisher of the right-wing website on which it ran and with more respect than their actions deserved, I said,
“I am in a decidedly different demographic than your readers. Your author, Don Rosenberg used my words to support a belief system that appalls me. While I am not in favor of censorship, I ask that my quote be removed lest readers believe I am in alignment with the message of the piece. Thank you (in advance) for reaching out to the author and letting him know. This tree-hugging social justice advocate doesn’t name call or hate anyone.”
This was the response I received a few days later:
Dear Rev. Weinstein:
I should not have to remind you that when one writes something for publication, especially academic work, accurate quotation of the work does not require permission.
Thomas Lifson, PhD
I also reached out to the other professional whose quote likely was not directly requested and informed her of the way in which her words were being used as well.
I was reluctant initially to write this article since I didn’t want to call more attention to Rosenberg’s unsolicited and vile use of my words. As someone who is an outspoken advocate for calling out underhanded behavior, I felt compelled to do so. My reputation is at stake.
I did some research into a man who would do such a thing.
His bio reads: “Don Rosenberg is a conservative political consultant for groups and candidates, recently working on the Ben Carson campaign and the Reopen movement.” At least he is upfront about his political views. I have both the desire to contact him and a genuine fear of repercussion if I do. I consider myself an ethical journalist. Over the years, I have interviewed celebrities and notables in various fields of endeavor. On occasion, they have divulged information that felt too personal and I have asked if they wanted me to share it publically. Some had given consent, others thanked me for looking out for them and asked that I keep it between us. And so I have. I wish Rosenberg would have that same sense of honor.
Blessedly, after posting about my indignation on my Facebook page, friends came to my aid with support and humor.
“You’ve been slimed. Cult members will start with whatever they have been told to believe by the Leader, and then twist everything to support the Leader’s position. It does show how far your writing reaches.”
“I skimmed through the article, and some of the comments, unfortunately. A lot of hate supposedly by people claiming “others” are full of hate. It’s pretty horrible. I see this a lot, and honestly don’t even know how to react 🙁 I mean the nature of categorizing “Liberals are full of hate” is by itself a hateful divisive statement, but they don’t see it that way, and thus fully justified to them as they actually spew hate toward others, but don’t see it that way at all. Thus why I continue to be depressed about our society. 🙁 I’m so sorry.”
“Wow. Good for you for writing what you did to the editor. I hope they take your quote down.”
“Funny as “they” don’t see themselves as angry.”
“The information age run amok. Unbelievable.”
“Way to be vigilant, Edie.”
“People will go to all lengths to validate their fears and beliefs. Just keep shining the light. I remember reading this a long time ago by Louise Hay when she said that she wanted to help everyone but had come to realize she could only hope those who wanted to heal.”
Wishing healing for all those who hold hate in their hearts and minds.