The Free Dictionary
hit someone below the belt
1. Lit. [for a boxer] to strike an opponent below the belt. (An unfair blow.)
2. Fig. to deal someone an unfair blow.
Dictionary.com Cultural DictionaryBrooks Simpson may not like what I write about him on my blogs and Facebook groups, but he can't legitimately say I hit below the belt.
Hitting below the belt
To say something that is often too personal, usually irrelevant, and always unfair..The expression comes from boxing, in which it is illegal to hit an opponent below the belt.
My writings are not personal. Outside his blog and job, all I know about him is that he's a sports fan.
They're not irrelevant. They almost always deal with his smears of Southern heritage advocates and groups, and his demonization of white Southerners. I certainly comment on his innuendo, falsehoods and other smears of me, and I don't soft-pedal my self-defense or counter-attack.
My responses are not unfair. They may be disrespectful, because I don't believe he deserves my respect; but that is not unfairness.
He accuses me of lying, which I don't do. He may misconstrue what I write to claim unfairness or untruthfulness, but that is actually him being unfair.
Simpson is a hockey fan and a baseball fan. His teams are the Islanders and the Yankees. He sometimes tweets about them, and posts articles and videos on his blog.
They have nothing to do with the civil war and Southern heritage and I have never written anything derogatory about them. In fact, I don't recall ever mentioning them at all,*** and I've certainly never thrown off on his being a sports fan, or on his teams, favorite players, or any other aspect of this interest of his.
Now, let's look at his treatment of me.
I write Southern novels -- stories that portray Southern white people as ordinary decent folks, not the stereotypical scum-sucking racist in-bred hick religious fanatic moron-monsters some writers (and readers) love. Most of my books incorporate an element of romance. My novels have nothing to do with the civil war,
Simpson has never read my novels, yet he has posted about them at Crossroads many times, in posts or threads that have nothing to do with them. He has described them, either directly or by implication, as trashy, racist, and poorly written, among other things.
He has brought up the fact that I am self-published numerous times, in a derogatory manner, in posts or comment threads that had nothing to do with me, my writing, my novels or self-publishing. He has used my writing repeatedly to attack me personally.
He has hinted that my characters were like the murderers of Emmett Till, and admitted he brought up one of my novels specifically to entrap me. He has implied that I'm a racist for portraying white Southerners sympathetically -- as honorable and as victimized.
Simpson's writings about my novels are both irrelevant to the purpose of his blog, and unfair to me. They are hitting below the belt.
His writings about Carl Roden's fan-fiction writing also hit below the belt, because they are irrelevant and unfair. They are written specifically to denigrate and hurt another person. Fortunately, Carl doesn't seem to be hurt by Simpson's attacks. That doesn't change the fact that Simpson's attacks are irrelevant and unfair, and thus hitting below the belt.
Because I once said on his blog that my Cherokee ancestors self-identified as Southerners, Simpson actually did my genealogy and found an ancestor of mine who he said "helped round up the Cherokee" for removal from Georgia. He put it in a Crossroads post, where he mentioned a reference or two, but I found other sources that indicated that my ancestor had nothing to do with the removal. A professor of history doing the same online research on the same person would certainly have found the sources I found; but he ignored them because they negated what he wished to say. That is dishonest and unfair.
His purpose in doing that was solely to embarrass me. It didn't embarrass me; I mention it because it shows what kind of person he is, and that his post about my ancestor was hitting below the belt for all three reasons -- it was personal, irrelevant and unfair.
NOTE: Susan said: "I leave the heavy hitting to Ms Connie!" So Simpson's statement, "Susan Hathaway says she leaves the heavy hitting (below the belt) to Chastain..." which adds to Susan's comment something she did not say is untruthful, making it unfair, and hitting below the belt.
***Update: I did mention Sidney Crosby in a comment thread at Crossroads once... But since I merely expressed hope that Sidney's broken jaw would not permanently disfigure his pretty face, it can't be construed as hitting below the belt.
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