Free speech, political correctness, and the right
0 comment Saturday, August 23, 2014 |
David Thompson gives us his take, as always interesting, on the recent controversies over 'hate speech,' for example in the Islamic Awareness Week at Tufts University.
Fear and Hate
It should, I think, be unnecessary to point out that claims of being offended don�t, in themselves, entitle one to anything in particular, and certainly not rights of unilateral censorship. But we live in strange times and some repetition may be in order. As I wrote back in May 2005:
In this fashionable rush to condemn those who cause offence, we are in danger of overlooking something important. All grievances are not of equal merit. Nor are they deserving of equal sensitivity or accommodation. Whether or not a person is offended may not depend on what is actually said or written, which may be perfectly coherent, measured in tone and serious in intent. The perceived offence may depend on the dishonesty and hypocrisy of the supposedly aggrieved party... Very civil and inarguable comments can, for instance, cause "offence" to someone who is determined to be offended for political gain and determined to exploit the pretence of being hurt. Indeed, the pantomime of being conspicuously aggrieved can be a form of passive-aggressivism - a way to express hostility or dominance while hiding being the role of victim. This tactic is widely employed by the morally incontinent and by bullies of all kinds.
In light of those comments, the following may be of interest. Mike Adams has developed a similar line of thinking and arrived at an interesting, and quite helpful, definition of "hate speech":
Hate speech is verbal communication that induces anger due to the listener�s inability to offer an intelligent response. Because this inability to offer an intelligent response is due to one of two reasons, there are really two different types of hate speech: (1) Speech that is too dumb to merit an intelligent response, and (2) Speech for which the listener is too dumb to offer an intelligent response.''
Good commentary from both Thompson and Mike Adams.
Thompson says, of Adams' ideas:
If, as Adams suggests, "hate speech" is defined by the listener�s inability to tolerate dissent or formulate an intelligent response, then advantage is given to those who least deserve it. Those who resort to threats and howls of impropriety gain leverage over people who are prepared to listen and rebut with argument and evidence. Thus, moral incontinence, idiocy and bullying prevail.''
All in all, it's an interesting piece. The entire thing should be read, and please do read the discussion thread, which, sadly, illustrates yet another example of neocon/right-liberal political correctness, in which the bogeymen assume the usual guise of 'racists and bigots.' The Klan are invoked, and poor old James Watson is again given a drubbing for his comments. I notice however that as usual nobody has a cogent argument with which to refute anything Watson has said, but I guess you don't need one if you have noble motives such as defending the downtrodden victims.
Is there any hope of disabusing the 'conservative' apostles of political correctness? They seem quite convinced that they are the epitome of 'conservative' righteousness. They seem to have no inkling that they are following along two steps behind their left counterparts, as regards their adherence to PC.
Somebody coined the term 'the righteous Right' to describe conservative Christians, but I am inclined to use that term for the PC adherents on the 'right' who get the vapors when somebody says something politically incorrect. Get the smelling salts. Maybe they are the 'self-righteous right.' Or maybe some of the commenters are actually liberals of the garden variety. It's getting so hard to tell these days.

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