Op Eds

To: You

Dear You,

Sorry, I don’t really know your name. Yes, I am talking to you. You, the reader. Or more importantly you, the commenter. You are finally getting the platform that it seems that you want. This article is all about you! I haven’t been a member of the Crimson for very long, nor have I been reading Crimson articles that long either, but yet, somehow you have made an imprint in my mind.

I first got introduced to you last semester. As I was comping for the Crimson Editorial Board, I had a friend who was comping for the News Board– they met you much earlier than I did. I was a little bit in shock when I read her comments, as she was just reporting the news — simply objective. But still, her name, her peers' names, were called out by you. We talked about you – about how you were intimidating and how we were afraid to poke the bear.

So, I became a little nervous about what would happen when I started writing about subjective things, things that pertained to my identity and personality. Writing on this board must come with some vulnerability. Every time one writes, they leave a piece of themselves out there. I began to take my opinions more seriously and think critically about what I wanted to put online.

The second time I met you was when I was first published. Despite my hesitancy and fear, I still decided that I would remain strong and still confront you. I was so proud of what I created; what I put time, effort, and passion into. I smiled as my parents linked my article on their Facebook and as my friends reposted it on Instagram. However, the next morning, when I read all the things you had to say, is when I started becoming progressively less and less excited about publishing.


After that morning, I became more and more obsessed with you. My article did not even have that many comments, but I kept re-reading them to see what I could interpret from what you had said. I have always kept up with reading the Crimson, but now, reading your comments became added to my routine. It came to the point where I could recognize some of your screen names, due to how much time you spend reading and commenting on these articles. And I could always find you under the articles discussing race and gender. There was an article written back in 2018, titled “Who Can Be Racist?” which was the crux of it all. 317 comments of critiques, insults, and much more. I wondered what it felt like for the writer to see all of you guys.

I struggle to decide if you matter or not, to put it bluntly. For all I know, you could be a 40-year-old man cooped up in his room, bored and full of hatred for a young college kid. Or maybe you’re some student at Yale, living out our rivalry to its full extent. This is how my friends and family would describe you at least — as they attempted to convince me to disregard the things that you say. But, I can’t just ignore you. You are the heart of what opinion journalism is — having the freedom and the platform to speak your mind. I will always be an avid supporter of spreading knowledge and having equal access for all voices to be heard. So who am I to stop you from doing exactly what I love?

In the spirit of exercising their freedom of speech, I have seen some online vigilantes attempting to fight back against the rude and demeaning comments that you write on the Crimson website. But yet, you remain the same — consistently commenting on each post with your criticisms. So, what is left to do is just live with you. We writers just have to understand that you're a part of the package. I get to say my piece, you get yours. Oddly enough, this is an appreciation letter. I appreciate those of you who actually provide constructive criticism, but I also appreciate those of you who make my backbone stronger – whipping me into shape. I appreciate how you remind me of the privilege that I get to speak my mind on this platform as I choose. So, get comfortable, because it seems like we are both here for the long run.


Angie Gabeau

Angie Gabeau ’25, a Crimson Editorial Editor, lives in Pennypacker.