Blowhard, Esq. writes:
Do people care about free speech? Did they ever really? A recent spate of stories has me wondering.
INB4 some lawyer or lawyer wannabe notes that three of these stories don’t involve state action, therefore the First Amendment isn’t implicated. True, but doesn’t the idea of free speech encompass more than a legal regime, isn’t it a cultural ideal too? Isn’t there something — dare I say? — un-American about firing someone for writing a memo, the point of which was to open up discussion about controversial ideas?
Maybe not, maybe my “cultural ideal” argument is woefully naive. It’s clear people are only too happy to abridge speech when the ideas being attacked are politically unpopular.
- The SJW mob on Twitter enjoys smearing books before having read them: “In a tweet that would be retweeted nearly 500 times, Sinyard asked people to spread the word about The Black Witch by sharing her review — a clarion call for YA Twitter, which regularly identifies and denounces books for being problematic (an all-purpose umbrella term for describing texts that engage improperly with race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other marginalizations). Led by a group of influential authors who pull no punches when it comes to calling out their colleagues’ work, and amplified by tens of thousands of teen and young-adult followers for whom online activism is second nature, the campaigns to keep offensive books off shelves are a regular feature in a community that’s as passionate about social justice as it is about reading. And while not every callout escalates into a full-scale dragging, in the case of The Black Witch — a book by a newcomer with a minimal presence online — the backlash was immediate and intense.”
- Similarly, Ta-Nehisi Coates — one of the indisputably great intellectuals of our age, whose writing the critic A.O. Scott called “essential, like water or air” — musters his searing rhetorical power to denounce a TV show that doesn’t even exist yet. Yes, sure, I realize that Coates is free to criticize a TV show and he’s not asking that anything be banned, but his argument essentially seems to be, “This show shouldn’t exist because it is made by white people and the premise offends me.” There seems to be a swelling chorus of black writers who object to the mere idea of white people creating works about black people.
- The fact that Ernst Zundel was hounded and harassed by three major governments for decades, including basically two years of torture by one of them, is pretty much all you need to know about the state free speech in the West.
- Finally, here’s the complete Google memo that’s been in the news, along with a response from four scientists who say he got the science right. I wonder how many of the people attacking James Damore consider themselves members of the “reality-based community” who also fucking love science.