1.6.16

DE PAUL NEEDS TO STRENGTHEN ITS COMMITMENT TO FREE SPEECH.

The place long suffers from a censorious impulse, and the recent verbal terrorism engaged in during a protest of a Milo Yiannapoulos event is too much even for the editorial board at Chicago's Tribune.
The issues of the day are fraught, and students, raised on social media, are politically engaged and eager to espouse their beliefs. That's wonderful for society, and crucial for the future. But the tripwires are still there, among them learning the hard lesson that being offended is part of life in the public spaces of a democracy. How each of us responds to the insults and indignities counts for a lot.
But the snowflakes have long been enabled, with the connivance of Student Affairs and the Diversity Weenies, that giving offense is allowed for some but not others, and taking offense is a privilege for some and a burden for others.  When the burdened are neither subject to campus speech codes, nor disposed to meekly go along, we have what Tribune columnist Eric Zorn discovers. Milo Yiannopoulos protesters at DePaul only make Trump's message stronger.
A troupe of actors hired to parody the worst excesses of the speech-suppressing hothouse flowers on American university campuses couldn't have done a better job of seeming to ennoble Yiannopoulos and validate the anti-political-correctness sentiment that's helping drive voters to Trump.

Take it from me, you don't have to have Republican leanings to be angered by the enforcement of liberal conformity at our institutions of higher learning. You don't have to believe a single snide, catty, white-privileged word Yiannopoulos says to defend his right to say them to a crowd of willing listeners.

And you don't have to be a sophisticated political analyst to realize that exhibiting shrill intolerance for the rights of others to speak undercuts the idea that the presidency of the authoritarian Trump would truly place freedom in jeopardy.
Perhaps the snowflakes have to be outrageous because the evidence, after eighty years of the Ponzi scheme called "Social" "Security" and fifty years of a failed War on Poverty, and the two lies for the price of one bundled as patient protection and affordable care, all that is left is the shrill intolerance.

All the same, Mr Zorn would like to protect the right of people who do not hold his positions to speak, as a way of securing the identical courtesy for himself.
Those who find that they can't ignore the provocations of marginal haters ought to counter them with speeches and presentations of their own, if not because it's the right thing to do, then because it's the smart thing to do.

Shouting someone down makes you and your contrary ideas appear weak. It fuels your opponents and repels those who might be persuadable.

Fellow liberals: We can't win, we won't win, by trying to muzzle the opposition or drown them out with melodramatic umbrage. Not this fall. Not ever.
Indeed.

No comments: