What do you get when you cross an uninformed yet opinionated hypocrite (in this case Lindy West) with free speech? You get an editorial that boils down to “well it’s not trolling when our side does it!” https://archive.fo/S9f49
Criticism is not censorship, and no matter how insistent Twitter’s free speech brigade might be, I felt safe knowing that we could always go back to the text. The Constitution was on my side.
But that was when I thought facts had power, when what we think of as the truth was based more on observable reality and less on the incantations of paranoid uncles who would rather die of preventable diseases than let America’s first black president leave an intact legacy. When the “free speech” canard started nibbling away at me, around 2012 or so, it seemed as goofy as the idea of Donald Trump becoming president. Oops.
Yeah, you know what actually happened in 2012? President Barack Obama signed an anti-protest law that was an actual attack on freedom of speech: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2012/03/the_anti_protest_bill_signed_by_barack_obama_is_a_quiet_attack_on_free_speech_.html
The basis for that law, confining protestest to predefined areas in order to avoid the “heckler’s veto” or “rioters veto” which was most recently successfully used at Berkeley to cancel Milo: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/01/us/milo-yiannopoulos-berkeley/index.html and Ann Coulter: http://www.yaf.org/news/statement-young-americas-foundations-april-27-lecture-uc-berkeley/
Wow, so you’ve got Leftist rioters causing 100,000 dollars worth of damage in order to prevent Milo from speaking, because somehow his ideas are so incredibly dangerous as they expose Leftist Dogma for the idiocy that it is… Somehow Lindy West mentions none of this in her defense of free speech from the trolls.
So what does she spend her time on? Gamergate.
At the online video conference VidCon a couple of weeks ago, the feminist cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian took the stage for a panel on women’s experiences online, only to find the first two rows of seats stacked with her online harassers, leering up at her, filming her on their phones.
Ms. Sarkeesian has been relentlessly stalked, abused and threatened since 2012, when she started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a series of YouTube videos critiquing the representation of women in video games.
Notice what is lacking from this, any form of ACTUAL censorship. There were no riots to stop Sarkeesian from speaking to invoke the “rioter’s veto” and in terms of actual abuse and harassment, Anita Sarkeesian used her position on a panel to violate VidCon’s code of conduct to attack someone in the audience.
But hey, never let facts get in the way of a good story, right? Especially when Anita Sarkeesian can’t even get her story straight:
But enough about the failed feminism of computer games, on to Black Lives Matter!
If their goal was really to foster free public discourse, we would have seen deafening bipartisan support for Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, the Princeton African-American studies assistant professor and author of “From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation,” who canceled two speaking engagements in late May after Fox News aired video of her calling President Trump a “racist and sexist megalomaniac.” Professor Taylor received more than 50 “hate-filled and threatening emails,” many racially charged, some containing “specific threats of violence, including murder,” she wrote in a statement.
Yup, totally 100,000 dollars worth of damage a la Milo. No, of course not. But let us actually entertain the notion that Lindy West has an actual point here, so a quick google search brings up The New Republic which is a bit on the social conservative side, which had this to say: https://newrepublic.com/minutes/143064/outrage-keeanga-yamahtta-taylor
There are some distinctions to note: Taylor is not being no-platformed in the sense that we commonly understand it, and the fervor she now fights developed in response to a campus speaking engagement to which no one objected at the time.
Nevertheless, it’s striking that her situation has garnered almost no outrage from the usual free-speech defenders. There are no columns in The New York Times or The Atlantic or New York magazine. There are no fevered tweets, no hand-wringing on her behalf. Instead, we have yet another Times column about the excesses of college liberals.
In short, it seems nobody really cares about a paltry “50” threatening emails in the age of massive property damage, especially when the venues in Seattle and California would actually do their damn jobs to provide security to speakers. I just don’t see Berkeley having a “stand down” policy to not protect a leftist female black guest speaker, and evidently no one else does either. So Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor comes across as a distant runner up in the “victimization olympics” because she didn’t inspire any actual property damage or protests at the scheduling of her speech. So nice try Lindy, but even a casual analysis of the facts show that you are using someone else’s inability to gain greater victimhood status to try to prove that the inability to gain greater victimhood status is some sort of oppression… That level of social justice naval gazing utterly boggles the mind.
The election of Donald Trump and crying “free speech” to end any discussion of cultural sensitivity are not unrelated. Casting the dissent of marginalized groups as a First Amendment violation is the kind of pseudo-intellectual argument that seems reasonable to people who don’t have enough skin in the game to bother paying attention. “Discourse” is good! Sunlight is the best disinfectant! The more airtime we give to irrational bigots on high-profile platforms — the more assiduously we hear both sides, stay “fair and balanced” — the sooner they’ll be rejected by the public at large!
Unfortunately, as any scientist can tell you (for as long as we still have those), more often than not, sunlight makes things grow. Conflating criticism with censorship fosters a system in which all positions deserve equal consideration, no bad ideas can ever be put to rest, and lies are just as valid as the truth.
Oh boy… First off no one is censoring “marginalized groups” on the internet, or in mass media. What we are not doing is giving them a free pass and calling them out on their bullshit the very way this article is making fun of Lindy West for being an illogical blowhard.
And the second point, Lindy, please don’t comment on science any more. The reason sunlight is a sterilizing factor is because sunlight has a large amount of ultraviolet radiation that is the correct frequency and energy to destroy the covalent bonds in DNA. This is why you can sterilize clear water by putting it in a clear water bottle and leaving it under direct sunlight for twelve hours or so. This is also why too much sunlight will give you skin cancer. The reason plants grow in sunlight is that they use the photonic energy to fix carbon through photosynthesis, however plants that photosynthesize are NOT the infectious agents that need sterilization. In short, Lindy West you are scientifically illiterate and are suffering from the DK effect too badly to even understand the beginnings of the depths of your ignorance. Of course this is a great example of how a gender studies degree prepares you for nothing else in life but being outraged at everything.
It’s not hard to draw a straight line from internet culture warriors’ misappropriation of free speech to our current mass delusions over climate change, the Hyde Amendment, abstinence-only education, health care as a luxury and class as a meritocracy. “Free speech” rhetoric begot “fake news,” which begot “alternative facts.”
The right cannot lay claim to the First Amendment when its own president is actively hostile to it. Sometimes disinfectant is the best disinfectant.
Oh boy, this is the part of the article where random things get thrown together like a toddler throwing spaghetti at a wall just to see what sticks. No one can “misappropriate” free speech you twit, it is an inalienable right. I know inalienable is a big word, but use that gender studies degree to remember where the hell a library is and go look it up. The “current mass delusions over climate change” is literally a catch all phrase, but thankfully the mass delusion that we’d have no Polar Bears by now, and that Manhattan was supposed to be under water as of two years ago: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2015/06/12/flashback-abcs-08-prediction-nyc-under-water-climate-change-june It leads me to think that anyone who believes such incredibly wrong predictions on climate change is the one suffering from delusions (or a lack of scientific training, which Lindy has already demonstrated such a lack).
Free speech didn’t beget “fake news” any more than Dan Rather deciding to run a story with obviously faked documents was an exercise in “freedom of the press.” Sure his “alternative facts” supported the leftist narrative at the time, but the great thing about “facts” is that while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, they are not entitled to their own “facts.” And all those culture warriors on the internet that Lindy is railing against (and trying to lump part and parcel in with the religious right) are more than happy to take the creationists and abstinance only religious right to task. But Lindy doesn’t want to recognize that, because in doing so she would tacitly admit that the “internet culture warriors” have a real point about freedom of speech.
So…to Lindy West, please don’t breed. And to the internet culture warriors, keep on putting the REEEEEEEEE! in freedom.