*This is Sarah: Sorry this is late. My fail proof system to get posts up… failed, so I had to hack it this morning. I’m also not doing anything about Paris until Tuesday at least, though my main thing is “if people say they want to kill you, believe them” which would seem really obvious but our enlightened leaders routinely fail to get. I got the news in dollops two hours into my vacation, on texts from older son. I’m still a little in shock. More when I get back home.*
Why We Must Fight.
By Tom Knighton
Just how screwed up is the United States? Well, based on some of what I see out and about these days, pretty screwed up. You see, the things that make this country great, things like free speech? A lot of very loud people seem to be offended by the concept of freedom. It’s pretty pathetic.
By now, I suspect many of you have seen the video from Yale University where a student is shouting down someone who is essentially defending the First Amendment. The screeching student tries to make some argument about Yale being her “home”.
I watched the video as intently as I could. I couldn’t get too intent because my laptop wouldn’t survive being forced to do a Frisbee impression, but I did the best I could. While watching it, I developed a theory about why there was this bizarre effort to describe a college as “home”.
You see, I believe it’s about rationalization.
When you consider a particular space that you have no authority over as your “home”, then you can justify lashing out against anyone who dares to disagree with you. It allows one’s mind to justify anything you do, because you’re defending your own turf.
Defending turf is a timeless custom among humans. When Ogg and Ugg threw down over who the cave belonged to, they were battling over turf. Most wars throughout history, up until recently anyways, were about turf.
The idea of turf being sacred is almost encoded in our DNA.
So, when the screeching student prattles on about “home”, it’s about defining her turf. Oh, she shares it with others of her tribe, but that’s not an issue. Her tribe has her back on such things. It’s the defining characteristic of their tribe.
Unfortunately for them, they fail to notice that another characteristic of their tribe is to abuse the English language badly enough that it probably needs a shelter.
Yale University, or any other college for that matter, is not now nor will ever be “home” for students. It’s a school. Yes, they live there for their time at school, but it’s not home. The entire business model for colleges is based around students staying there for a few years and then kicking them down the road so they can play adult.
It’s not home. It’s a place to become educated.
That’s irrelevant to the tribe, however. They have decided it’s home, and any disagreement is an invasion into their home. Just as any of us would do with a home invader, they seek to stamp out the life of the intruder. For people like our screeching student, that invader is freedom of speech.
I believe that this is what has lead to the idea of “safe spaces” we have all come to know and mock. Rather than confront ideas with their own ideas, they seek to push away the unpleasantness. They don’t want to be challenged, so they hide away in their own caves and hope the evil “other” goes away.
Don’t believe me? Then please, tell me why there was a problem with the World Fantasy Awards having a bust of H.P. Lovecraft?
Was Lovecraft a racist? Looks like. Much like most other people from that day and age did. However, rather than just have the conversation about the backward thinking of his day, the effort has been to purge him. Couple that with at least one notable author arguing that aspiring writers don’t really need to read the classics, and you see an effort that would effectively remove H.P. Lovecraft from the collective memories of fans.
Now, realistically, this isn’t some grand conspiracy to remove Lovecraft. What it is are independent efforts that have a cumulative effect that amounts to the same thing.
It’s not just in our little corner of the world either.
Look at the University of Missouri. Yes, I understand there are some very real problems there. I’m sure that there might be some legitimate grievances in there somewhere. The problem is, we don’t care. Any ability to give a flying flip ended the moment a bunch of privileged white college kids started pushing an Asian student around for the crime of exercising his First Amendment rights as a member of the press (he was on a freelance assignment with ESPN).
Even more ridiculous was that one of the ringleaders was a staff member with a background in communications who held a courtesy appointment with the journalism school. Rather than recognize individual rights, she looked to defend the “safe space” at any and all costs. Tim Tai, the photographer that was assaulted—and yes, he was assaulted—was told to “respect the students”. Even his status as a student was irrelevant to the Snowflake Brigade. After all, it was home and his rights didn’t matter.
Recently, a buddy of mine on Facebook posted an opinion. Nothing unusual for social media, right? Well, a friend of his passed word that a third party wanted my buddy’s friend to un-friend him. Why? So this Special Snowflake wouldn’t have to see my friend’s opinion in her feed.
Sunshine, that’s what the “hide post” feature is for. If it’s bad enough, then the “block” feature works well too.
For better or worse, there is a generation of people who think their feelings are all that should matter. They’re not open for discussion, they’re not open for debate, and they’re not open for much of anything other than complete and total agreement.
They’re the people who rules-lawyer the crap out of things and try and get people thrown in Facebook jail at the slightest provocation. You use their name? BLAM! Reported and a 12 hour ban. You said something to them on Twitter? BLAM! Now you get your account shut down.
Not everyone on the left falls into this category. Thankfully, there are some on the left who are just as disgusted by this behavior as we are. In part, they have enough sense to know that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
Of course, it’s so good that many of us are starting to play by their rules too.
For a while, right-leaning authors tended to let any comment come through on their blogs with the exception of spam and trolls while many left-leaning authors moderated the snot out of their comments. However, more and more of us aren’t willing to allow the hate to flow toward our blogs while the other side fails to reciprocate.
Now, some of us simply allow comments we happen to like. I do it on my own blog, after all.
We’re setting up our own “safe spaces” of sort, thanks to secret groups on Facebook. However, those similarities are about where it ends.
You see, we don’t want liberal thought purged from our world. OK, that’s not really true, but the difference is how we want it gone.
Leftist ideologues tend to want everyone who disagrees with them silenced or, even better, forced to agree with them through indoctrination programs. Disagreeing is a sin, and you will not only will sin no more, you will think in such a way as to never think sinfully. Don’t believe me? What about the baker who refused to bake a cake for a same sex wedding? He not only has to make cakes for same sex weddings, but he was forced to undergo “sensitivity training”. He couldn’t be permitted to think something unapproved.
Ah, yes. Orwell would be proud.
Honestly, is it any surprise that many of us are withdrawing from the more general society? Of course some of us are.
Whether we should or not would be an interesting topic for debate, but I ask you to not judge those who have withdrawn from the field too harshly. The wars can be brutal, and some just can’t fight any longer. To be an effective warrior, it takes a lot of time. There’s a lot of reading, a lot of watching, and a lot of understanding required. Some people just don’t have it in them any longer.
However, those who can still fight need to do so. Otherwise, the “safe spaces” will grow and grow. Screeching students will multiply exponentially. Before we know it, they will silence us. By force.
Imagine a world where a tasteless choice in a Halloween costume is deemed criminal? Imagine if you could lose your job for your Native American costume, or whatever else you opt to wear. For Halloween.
There are people who actively dream of that power.
So, as a result, we must fight. Even if we have to get louder than the screeching students, we must fight. The future is worth it.