I really loved reading the post about the NSA, eugenics, and the presence of SLPs in peer support groups. I don't expect everyone, or really anyone, to also agree with or like the post. However, I'll admit I was surprised by the use of "you're wrong" messaging in the comments section. Often, "you're wrong" and "I disagree with you" were conflated in the manner of, "You're wrong because I disagree with you because my experience was different from yours."
I also noticed an interesting absence of discussing eugenics in the way Josh was calling when he wrote that "there is a massive elephant taking up the entire room that never gets talked about—that is, the inevitable eugenic implications of the search for a stuttering gene." The comments were more laced with emotional overtones, declarations of why Josh is wrong, and personal storytelling that primarily served to continue avoiding discussion of eugenics.
Eugenics discussions are important, and should be lead by the people who are most likely to be affected by eugenics: disabled people, people of color, poor people, women, and people who cross over in more than one of those identities. When someone in one of those groups brings up the conversation, and then others rush in to shut that person down, those others are reenacting the same power dynamics that are leading to eugenics in the first place. That is not equal to practicing eugenics, but it is damaging nonetheless.
People often avoid a difficult conversation--or more accurately, avoid talking about their own privilege--by waxing on for long periods, with extremely detailed personal story, listing some scientific facts unrelated to the social justice argument being made, or by saying, "But not me!" It may feel as if you're educating someone and adding perspective, but when the story gets long and detailed--names, dates, times, emotional responses, dialogue, proof why you're not one of the "bad ones" and/or filled with statistics--this is usually a sign that you are engaging in derailing and avoidance tactics even if you didn't mean to. I see this in some of the comments on the NSA post.
Of course, I don't want to engage in genuine dialogue with every blogger with whom I disagree. So I don't expect people to want to talk openly in a fair dialogue with Josh just because. But the defensive tactics used in the comments are the opposite of helpful. To call out Josh as incorrect and then ask him to have an open heart and tolerance is bizarre. To tell Josh that he's unfairly reprimanding people for engaging in things he has personally witnessed is to simultaneously silence his protest and escalate the argument he was trying to make.
One of the things that makes our communities rich is diversity, and that includes diversity of thought and experience. If you don't like what someone said, I would urge you to not focus on how that person is wrong. "You're wrong" is not the same as "I disagree." And more importantly, "I disagree" should never be used, as it was here frequently, to attempt to silence someone because you don't like what they said. Whatever Josh wrote is true for him, his observations, and I can promise you also true for lots of other people, including me. You don't have to like it. You don't have to agree with it. But I hope that people can accept it anyway without feeling the need to insert corrections to his observations (they're his), disciplining him, or seeking his apology for having attacked you personally when he did no such thing. If you want to understand what I mean, please reread his post when you can do so without the physical or emotional signs of anger or defensiveness (sweating, pounding heart, clenching fists or jaw). Picture him saying these things to you as a form of self-advocacy. Stop reading when you have the urge to scream at him or otherwise correct him and try to view his words not as statements of fact but as observations, political arguments, and calls for increased social justice led by the people historically most harmed by a lack of social justice.
Derailing for Dummies Guide: how to recognize tactics we use to end painful conversations by trying to change the topic or focus of conversation
A description of gaslighting: the ways we exert greater conviction over someone to convince them they are wrong--even without meaning to do that
Privileged Identity Exploration Model: a useful journal article around social justice dialogue defenses, including comparing and contrasting personal experiences, denying, deflecting, and minimizing (which are all tactics used in the comments to Josh's post)