When one takes uncommon stands even the ones people like but find it socially too costly to say so publically, taking flak comes with it, it is simply a fact of life.
I say this as someone who is at the receiving end of criticism on this popular site where people, mostly with Iranian heritage, visit in large numbers.
My expressed opinions are very seldom scrutinized on their own merits and more often than not are attacked for dreamt up association to some other person, dogma or entity which might or even might not have any commonality with.
To be clear, if I ever come across a counter argument which logically refutes a lifelong belief of mine, in a heartbeat that belief is gone as though never existed.
But that is not how it goes with some fellow compatriots. Here is a list of some but not all the ways they refute my and more often than not others’ opinions:
1- Questioning my Iranian identity.
2- Declaring me a mercenary.
3- Injecting religion into nonreligious opinions.
4- Personalizing it, as, you just don’t like so and so.
5- Dehumanizing me by saying I am after inflicting misery on my motherland.
6- Generalizing my criticism of some pretenders to that of all the genuine articles.
7- Rewriting historical facts in counter arguments.
8- Finding my opinion null and void because I’ve not said anything on an unrelated issue.
9- Talking down to me with known code words.
10- Never ever have shown the intellectual honesty, the grit to come back and correct a passionately proclaimed and later proven by events to have been erroneous take on a particular opinion of mine.
All in all being Fred the whipping boy, Fred the “non-Iranian anti-Muslim neocon warmonger mercenary” has thought me a lot. And hope it has been more than just an amusement to the silent, yet always present large audience.