Propagating Lies Of Hate: Shocked Seeing It From Some In Positions Of Power And Influence In Local Racing

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We don’t often go down the road of mixing personal and content outside of some rare tongue in cheek meanderings in this space, but every now and then the times comes when something needs to be said.

Propagating social hate, in any form, is ugly.

Whether it’s targeted at race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, whatever it might be, hate speech is an ugly matter.

And it seems today’s world of social media has strangely created an ever growing cesspool of spreading hate.

And just as bad as spreading it online of any form is falsely accusing someone of practicing hate.

Facebook personalities come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s few controls in place to keep matters from going off the tracks in dreadful ways on the social media site.

A posting from May 13 on Facebook read like this: “the days and nights of our beloved Shawn Courchesne … theres been rumors running around that shawn is a homophobic.”

Until Monday evening, listed among the Facebook “Likes” on the status were six people, including the names Cynthia Tebbets and Robert Walendy.

While there’s no confirming exactly who was using Facebook accounts to mark their liking of the status at hand, we can confirm that there, coincidentally, happens to be a team owner on the Valenti Modified Racing Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team crew member named Robert Walendy and an official with the Granite State Pro Stock Series named Cynthia Tebbetts.

Tebbetts is listed as the assistant event director for the Granite State Pro Stock Series. Walendy fields a car for driver Richard Savary on the Valenti Modified Racing Series and is part of the crew for the Our Motorsports team on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

An administrator from the website MyRaceNews named Walter Johnston also jumped into the comments fray below the status, and took things one step further by accusing this reporter of falsely reporting that I’m at events that I’m not, along with making a veiled accusation that I plagiarized the works of others from an event at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H. on May 11.

Walendy is also an administrator who is in control of overseeing statuses and information posted on the “Have At It Boys” page on Facebook where the particular “homophobic” status appeared.

I’m fiercely savage about protecting my work. If you steal it, you’re going to hear about it and I’m going to put you on blast. As a journalist, in my eyes, there’s no bigger sin than stealing someone else’s work. Do it to me and I’m going to let you and the rest of the world know about it. And one step above on the scale of sin for me is falsely representing my work in another published form. Have I rubbed people the wrong way when protecting my work? Absolutely. I’ll never deny that fact.

As seen in news reports from all over the country when it comes to school bullying, we all know Facebook can be an ugly place where the spreading of hate can take on a life of its own. One person sees others jumping in the cesspool and they can’t help but jump in themselves.

And there are no controls, no checks, nobody watching over anything there. On Walendy’s Have At It Boys Facebook page there is an individual who has for more than two months, accused me of spreading insulting remarks in regards to the late father of another member on that page. I have never written, spread or spoke any such remarks about the man in question, and the individual can’t produce any form evidence to prove that I did. He can’t because there isn’t any because there was never any insulting remarks made. But there’s no stopping this individual. I get that, you’re not going to stop someone intent on continually spreading lies. It’s where they get their life thrill from.

Trust this, if I couldn’t handle the ugly jabs that have come with being a journalist in the age of social media I would have got out long ago. You have to have a thick skin and be ready to deal with some idiotic garbage to put your name behind honest work these days, that’s understood.

But spreading false accusations of practicing hate speech is another game altogether. Using Facebook to spread false statements accusing someone of an abhorrent type of social hate is about as low as it gets. And cheering about spreading that hate by clicking “Like” on a status that low, as the individuals named Walendy and Tebbetts couldn’t help themselves from doing, is pretty close to as bad.

As is standing idly by and letting it fester for days and days and days on a page in which one has the controls to make it disappear, like Walendy.

Yes, you can go on Facebook and make your name disappear from certain places or change comments you made because you get worried you might get exposed for it – as people named Robert Walendy and Cynthia Tebbetts and Walter Johnston have done in the last 24 hours – but you can’t wash your hands of joining in and propagating hate just for your own sick and twisted entertainment desires.

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