Today, criticism of Islam is at the vanguard of the fight for free speech, since it is susceptible to attack and intimidation by jihadists and calls for self-censorship by the politically correct. Geller refers to her meeting as a free-speech event while her critics prefer to call it an anti-Islam event. They are really one and the same.- Rich Lowry, editor, National Review.
The New York Times editorial board, comprised of 19 journalists, published a paltry attempt to circumvent the reality of free speech. Its “Free Speech vs. Hate Speech” essay addressed the Garland, TX draw Muhammad cartoon event. How did 19 journalists actually agree to publish such an egregious example of what Salman Rushdie called the “but brigade.”
So, what is the “but brigade”? Rushdie provides a few examples to illlustrate the phenomenon: “I believe in free speech, but people should behave themselves.” “I believe in free speech, but we shouldn’t upset anybody.” “I believe in free speech, but let’s not go too far.” Get it? Hopefully, you do. In essence, the “but” indicates that the person(s) using it do not really believe in free speech at all. They believe in limited speech that does not offend; that is, speech that clearly does not need legal protection.
Those New York Times editorial journalists stipulated up front the usual superficial support for free speech typically given by “but brigade” members: “There is no question that images ridiculing religion, however offensive they may be to believers, qualify as protected free speech in the United States and most Western democracies.” Then in typical “but brigade” fashion, the 19 journalists attacked and disparaged those who exercized their right to free speech and were almost massacred for doing so. They argued the Garland event “was not really about free speech,” but “was an exercise in bigotry and hatred posing as a blow for freedom.”
Literature should not be suppressed merely because it offends the moral code of the censor. — Chief Justice William O Douglas
The selector begins, ideally, with a presumption in favor of liberty of thought; the censor does not. The aim of the selector is to promote reading not to inhibit it; to multiply the points of view which will find expression, not limit them; to be a channel for communication, not a bar against it. — Lester Asheim, “Not Censorship but Selection” (Wilson Library Bulletin, 1953)
All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of all censorships. There is the whole case against censorships in a nutshell. — George Bernard Shaw
Previously I’d written a lengthy essay on my sad experiences with PEN apathy. I sent it to PEN’s own literary journal, PEN America: A Journal for Writers and Readers, for publication consideration. But its editor, M. Mark, did not bother to respond. Then I sent it to The Journal of Information Ethics, which had published some of my essays, but rejected it because: the “reviewer was very reluctant to say no” and “anything less assertive is always welcome.” Global Free Press, however, published it (see www.globalfreepress.org/sections/free-speech/3415-pen-an-ethical-consideration).
Trigger Warning: The Following Will Upset the Westfield State University Campus-Designated Safe Zone of Thought; Consult at Your Own Risk...
Over the past several decades I’ve questioned and challenged many professors. Few if any have ever responded with clear counter arguments. In fact, I cannot think of one. A handful have responded with ad hominem.
Most simply choose not to respond. Those observations have brought me to conclude that “Professor Fragility” is a reality.
In any case, Sam Adler-Bell’s Raw Story interview (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/why-white-people-freak-out-when-theyre-called-out-about-race/) with Robin DiAngelo, white-privileged Associate Professor of Critical Multicultural and Social Justice Education at Westfield State University (MA), fails to question and challenge at all. Why, one must ask, do so many journalists like Adler-Bell simply provide space for a convenient and simplistic anti-white stereotype narrative? In this case, the narrative is called “white fragility,” DiAngelo’s purported invention. So, allow me to present a challenge to it, since all Adler-Bell did was open wide and swallow it.
The “white fragility” argument is one-sided—anti-white—as tends to be most conversation about racism today. Would it not be somewhat unique to add to it, a stereotype “black fragility” component? After all, do not predictable patterns also include black “inability to tolerate any kind of challenge” to the racial narrative, as in black anti-white racism, black entitlement, black multimillionaires in power positions, Affirmative Action privilege, etc.? Don’t blacks “shut down or lash out or in whatever way possible block any reflection from taking place,” regarding challenges to their narrative? Don’t they also “regress into an emotional state that prevents anybody from moving forward”?
Five years ago when I first heard about the project to build a monument to dead Senator Edward M. Kennedy, I drew a sketch proposal for it, based on the famous stone head in St-Eustache in Paris.
Today, the objective Democrat-Party newspaper, The Boston Globe, published a story on the opening of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, written by an objective Kennedy, the famous alcoholic wife Victoria Reggie Kennedy, president of the institute’s board of trustees (sounds kind of like the Clinton Foundation, n’est-ce pas?).
Unsurprisingly, comment space for plebes like me was not included after the article.
Senator Edward M. Kennedy was really the antithesis of democracy, equality, and term limits. He occupied, not Wall Street, but the Senate for almost 47 years! His friends called him the “Lion of the Senate,” but his enemies “Senator-for-Life.” Although he blathered about income inequality, he guarded his millions with the avarice only a Clinton could match and was known to be tight as a wad.
Shamefully, millions of taxpayer money ($40 or 50 million!) went into building that monument, not really to the US Senate, despite claims to the contrary, but rather to one of its famous hack cronies, whose fortune should have paid for the entire thing. [Are there any senators who are not hack cronies? Are there any Senators who are not multi-millionaires?]
Somehow Sid Shniad’s pro-socialism, anti-capitalism, anti-Israel “68 Years of Struggle and Resistance for Peace, Justice and Freedom” editorial failed to mention that prior to those 68 years, the Palestinians were pro-Hitler and pro-Nazis. Now, how could that fact have been omitted? Shniad seems adept at painting a black and white simplistic picture of Palestine as perfect, while Israel as perfectly evil.
Simplistic black and white depictions, as in capitalism is evil and socialism is good, should always be questioned and challenged. To date, capitalist America, thanks to its First Amendment trumps perhaps every country regarding the basic human right of freedom of speech. When I see dubious statements like so many of Shniad’s, I am compelled to respond.
Questions need to be posed. For example, what preceded capitalism in the world? Was the world much better off pre-capitalism? Did people live longer? Was there an equality of wealth? Of course, the answers to those questions are NO. Perhaps what preceded capitalism was a kind of pre-capitalism of trade and barter.
The following commentary was submitted to both the Cape Cod Times and Barnstable Patriot in response to K. C. Meyers’ Cape Cod Times’ article, “Muniz to Keep Job with County.” Both newspapers refuse to publish it, for if they did publish it, they’d be venturing beyond the safe construct of the race monologue set up by politically-correct ideology.
The Barnstable County Human Rights Commission is all white… with the exception of its black leader, John Reed, who some say is a black bigot. Is that possible? Can blacks be racist? Well, that was certainly my impression when I met him and discovered his total lack of interest in the fact that my civil rights were being denied in Barnstable because I was not permitted to attend any cultural and political events held at my neighborhood library, Sturgis Library. I am white. Now, if there is a black member or two on the Commission, they were not present when I stood there before it. In reality, the lack of racial diversity of the Commission is irrelevant. What is pertinent is viewpoint diversity. When I stood before the Commission, all I could perceive was viewpoint apathy, which is a general sign of lack viewpoint diversity.
The problem with political correctness and any other ideology is the fundamental rejection of logic, fact, and reason. The White Privilege concept is part of politically-correct ideology. Many people in the White House are black including the President. Are the Obamas a reflection of Black Privilege? Well, they are certainly an example of it. But evoke that significant fact, and those without reason will proclaim it to be highly insignificant. When PC race hustlers mention that the Oscars are mostly white, try evoking the fact that most who win the Hip-Hop awards are black, and you might as well be talking to a brick wall. Brick walls do not reason.