In Response to My Public Shaming and “Dishonorable Discharge” from The Coffeelicious Editorial Team
Danna Colman

A sound and worthwhile response, Danna.

You *do* deserve a public apology from all those who were responsible for the scurrilous and defamatory publication of the letter supposedly written to inform readers of your no longer holding an editorial position on Coffeelicious. [ I will not repeat the language used in the letter to label this change for it was and is wholly inappropriate and unnecessarily demeaning.]

Regardless of the rights or wrongs of the issues surrounding the actions of the editorial committee — and I believe them to be mainly wrongs, the way in which this matter was handled and the content of the letter were entirely inexcusable. This is a matter that should have been handled in-house, so to speak and the loaded language of its public exposure was an appalling example of blatant and pointed prejudice — hardly what one would expect of competent editorial process.

In my view, the letter constitutes a clear case of defamation. However, I am not a lawyer. What I am is someone who values and actively argues for a society in which the paramount ethic is one of justice, equity and respect for others, regardless of difference. Certainly, in the legal sense of the term, you have been denied Natural Justice.

Those responsible for the wording and public release of the original letter are those that have displayed a lack of understanding of appropriate dispute processes, positive mediation, and sound communication principles. It is they that should no longer hold editorial positions because their actions clearly demonstrate that they either don’t have the required skills or that they have chosen not to exercise them in your case. Either way, their actions are inexcusable and inconsistent with competent editorial process and with respectful human communication.

Were it not that I suspect it would promote prurient interest and further public exposure of what should have been a private matter, I would have willingly organised a petition demanding that both public and private written apologies be made to you.

As it is, I suspect that the editorial group responsible for this unnecessary, if not malicious, action are unlikely to admit to their transgression of common human decency and conventional professional practice. Thus, I can only hope that you are able to put this behind you and offer your undoubted talents to a group more deserving of them. Should you do so, I am sure that you have many followers and admirers of your work who would follow you.

In the scheme of things this issue may seem lacking in importance compared to much that is happening in the World. Injustic is rampant and violence, poverty, fraud, corruption, nepotism and worse are manifest. I understand that very well and, in my own tiny way, am as active as I possibly can be in attempting to change it. My view is that to do so one has to start with the individual and perhaps what is perceived to be a small injustice, because it is from acceptance or dismissal of those small injustices that individuals come to see as normal, what is harmful and hurtful behaviour that often has an extemely significant effect on the life of another. — From acorns, oak trees grow.

Common courtesy, let alone compassion and caring, seem values less and less held dear by our society. We accept that politicians lie, that big business bullies, that clerics have an inordinately high level of paedophiles, and that fame, wealth and position are aspirations of greater worth than assisting those worse off than ourselves and building a society of humane action, acceptance of difference, and respect for all.

This “minor” infraction epitomises that process which normalies greater infringements of liberty and injustices — it is an example of that acorn from which the oak tree grows.