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Self Defense against Personal Attacks is a Moral Responsibility!

Self Defense against Personal Attacks is a Moral Responsibility!

The cyber world has brought about a situation where it becomes very easy for people to find information about others based on what has been written and stored in the cyberspace about those people. It is therefore important that when someone writes defamatory things about you and posts them on either a website or a discussion forum, it becomes your moral and civic responsibility to set the records straight and clear your name. In this world of uncertainty where someone could take it upon him or herself to tarnish one’s image out of either jealousy or envy, it becomes equally imperative for those who feel attacked to also go out there and put their case across.  (Photo: Brima M Turay, author)

It takes just a “Google search” for someone to see things that have been written about you by someone else. To most people, their first impression of you based on what they have read about you may stick in their subconscious permanently and indelibly; and may contribute immensely to how they perceive you. But if they can see a response from you setting the records straight, they would then have a chance to judge the two sides objectively. This is the reason why I am fighting against attacking people’s personal lives in debates that have nothing to do with one’s personal life.

I always like to make reference to the 2006 Presidential elections campaign in the United States between Senator John Kerry and then President George W. Bush in which the “Swift Boat” Advertisement from the George W. Bush’s camp cost Senator John Kerry the elections because he, Senator Kerry; or at least his campaign team, did not pay much attention to the negative advertisement attacking Senator Kerry’s personality and credibility until the advertisement had caused so much damage to his reputation and credibility. If his campaign team had responded favorably and had set the records straight for the reading or listening public to digest, who knows, we probably could have had a President John Kerry that year. People don’t usually have time to verify any information that is sent to the cyber world. They take things at face value; and all too often, would form opinions based on such one- sided stories/allegations.

An attempt at self-defense to clear one’s name is not, and must not be, limited to certain individuals or groups. Organizations create or appoint a Public Relations office or officer to project the good deeds of such organizations and to defend them against people who may want to malign or damage their reputation. Campaign teams appoint a communication Director and Presidents appoint Press Secretaries to represent their views to the public and to dispel negative and unwarranted propagandas aimed at distorting the facts. Individuals who do not have such representation should therefore make it a moral responsibility to defend themselves and reestablish their good name by all means necessary.

I may be the Public Relations Officer for the APC North America branch but that does not exclude me from defending myself whenever I come under attack by someone or a group of individuals. There is no part in the functions of a Public Relations Officer that prevents him or her from self-defense against personal attacks from detractors. What is the use of being a Public Relations Office if you can defend the organization you represent and all other individuals within the organization but not yourself? It would appear like being asked to appoint 5 people that should be released from a prison in which you are one of the prisoners and you go ahead and appoint 5 other people excluding yourself. What sense does that make? It makes absolutely no sense at all.

Like I always say, I am a Sierra Leone first, with an impeccable reputation, if I may add, before I became a member of the APC party in Sierra Leone. If you say I am not a politician, I might agree with you because I am very much unlike what most people have come to associate our politics with. My passion for involving in our country’s politics derives from an irresistible desire to right the wrongs. I hate to see people in power trying to suppress the very people that gave them that power in the first place. I hate to see people misrepresenting the truth for the sake of scoring political points. I hate to see people using propaganda to destroy the reputation and credibility of others. I hate to see absolute power corrupting absolutely!

As I continue to watch/read some of the political debates in discussion forums and websites, I become more and more indignant to falsehood and the shrewd attempts by certain people to use the power of their communication skills to dent the good image of others. There is no shop or market in the world where one could buy good reputation. One has to build it for one’s self over a long period of time, for most people. To imagine that after spending such painful and restricted time to build your reputation, you could sit by and allow someone else to spring up from no where and start destroying such valuable endeavour for you in one day, would be totally insane.

While I appreciate those who either called or sent me emails to caution me against responding to some of these attacks, I want to implore them to understand that I may not have a second chance to rebuild my reputation if I allow anyone to destroy it for me while I am still breathing the free and unconditional air of God Almighty. This is beyond partisan politics. This is an attempt to halt the brakes on those who have made propaganda as their only vehicle to bring me down or bring down the people around me. I am very comfortable with defending myself against anyone. If I need additional help from anyone else, I would ask for it or seek it with all the energy that I have in me. For now, I want my sympathizers to be rest assured that I got this; and I am doing just fine. Thanks for the support and thanks for the concerns but please, let me do that which no one else would do for me sufficiently enough. God bless you all!

Brima M. Turay, USA

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  • You make good points. Clearing one’s name could be done in a matter-of-fact kind of neutral way for better and more moral version of “defense.”

    7th January 2011

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