Practice what you preach, West

To the Editor:

A main point of Tom West’s Jan. 15 editorial was to inform readers that those writing online comments would have to have a Facebook account in order to comment.

The reason he gave was to promote civility and respect.

I’m all for civility and respect.

That’s why I was absolutely appalled that Mr. West described some of those who had made comments as “schizophrenic” and “vicious.”

“Schizophrenic” is a medical diagnosis. It’s not OK to use that word to label someone whose behavior you don’t like. Those who suffer from the disease or are affected by it know it’s an extremely serious condition and they deserve our respect and support. They don’t deserve making light of their condition by using it to defame others, and people you don’t agree with don’t deserve being called names.

“Vicious” is a term appropriately used for a bad-tempered animal, not for people. It certainly shouldn’t be used just because you don’t agree with what people say.

Tom West’s picture was featured in ads with the slogan “Words aren’t for hurting.” Maybe it’s time to look at other people’s opinions with fairness and maybe it’s time for us all to practice what we preach. — Michele Caron, Flensburg