Author Topic: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?  (Read 58242 times)

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Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2015, 01:38:33 AM »

Offline freshinthehouse

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LOL I don't know how they can change anything when they are the ones crying about it.

TP+. Neocons are the kings of fake outrage.  From Reagan era stooges fuming about welfare queens driving brand new Cadillacs to today's Christian Right flipping their lid over a supposed war on Christmas, this has been their stock and trade for years.  Get your constituents to worry about irrelevant or in some cases imaginary problems.  That way they don't have to deal with any real issues.

Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2015, 01:44:26 AM »

Offline KeepRondo

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LOL I don't know how they can change anything when they are the ones crying about it.

TP+. Neocons are the kings of fake outrage.  From Reagan era stooges fuming about welfare queens driving brand new Cadillacs to today's Christian Right flipping their lid over a supposed war on Christmas, this has been their stock and trade for years.  Get your constituents to worry about irrelevant or in some cases imaginary problems.  That way they don't have to deal with any real issues.
Not as many Christians are concerned over those star buck cups as people may think. What Christians do worry about is when high school coaches get fired for saying a prayer after a game.

Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2015, 01:47:32 AM »

Offline Kuberski33

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I am. Im tired of it. Perhaps a republucan president would fix some of it. But the thought of carson or trump winning makes me cringe. Im tired of slacktivism and the daily social media and twitter campaigns. Im tired of people being offended over the color of a starbucks cup, and im tired of the US pop. In general. People being offended by this stuff is offensive to me. Grow some skin people. With the tradgedies and horrors going on in the world the things that trend and are fought against are halloween costumes and cups, good lord
I just have a big issue where it seems so many people are easily offended and no one wants to dare offend.  Take a look at human history - we're always in conflict.  We've been killing each other as long as humans have existed, there's always been 'bullying' because the strong sometimes try to take advantage of the weak and those not so great human traits like envy, jealousy, greed etc will never disappear.

There's a lot of bad crap in the world...its not going away in any of our lifetimes. And yes, some people suck.  Accept that, proceed accordingly and stop being so sensitive. 

With the Missouri thing I just wonder whether racism was the intent - or was  it some drunken idiot that did something stupid and others seized upon it because it fit their agenda?
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 02:08:23 AM by Kuberski33 »

Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2015, 02:20:49 AM »

Offline kraidstar

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I am. Im tired of it. Perhaps a republucan president would fix some of it. But the thought of carson or trump winning makes me cringe. Im tired of slacktivism and the daily social media and twitter campaigns. Im tired of people being offended over the color of a starbucks cup, and im tired of the US pop. In general. People being offended by this stuff is offensive to me. Grow some skin people. With the tradgedies and horrors going on in the world the things that trend and are fought against are halloween costumes and cups, good lord
I just have a big issue where it seems so many people are easily offended and no one wants to dare offend.  Take a look at human history - we're always in conflict.  We've been killing each other as long as humans have existed, there's always been 'bullying' because the strong sometimes try to take advantage of the weak and those not so great human traits like envy, jealousy, greed etc will never disappear.

There's a lot of bad crap in the world...its not going away in any of our lifetimes. And yes, some people suck.  Accept that, proceed accordingly and stop being so sensitive. 

With the Missouri thing I just wonder whether racism was the intent - or was  it some drunken idiot that did something stupid and others seized upon it because it fit their agenda?

people standing up for themselves in the face of discrimination is not "soft," as you previously wrote. so why are you so sensitive about it? do you sympathize with the people they are protesting?
the protesters are toughing it out just the way they should be. they have every right to push back.
and i don't see why it bothers you that the protesters are bothered by other people who are bothered by them.
just accept it, it's not going to change.

Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2015, 02:47:48 AM »

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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LOL I don't know how they can change anything when they are the ones crying about it.

TP+. Neocons are the kings of fake outrage.  From Reagan era stooges fuming about welfare queens driving brand new Cadillacs to today's Christian Right flipping their lid over a supposed war on Christmas, this has been their stock and trade for years.  Get your constituents to worry about irrelevant or in some cases imaginary problems.  That way they don't have to deal with any real issues.
Not as many Christians are concerned over those star buck cups as people may think. What Christians do worry about is when high school coaches get fired for saying a prayer after a game.

Because they'd lose it if a Muslim coach wanted to say a prayer after his own game.  If a few kids on a mostly Christian football team feel pressured to say a Christian prayer, can they really speak out against it in that context? 

Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2015, 02:54:48 AM »

Offline Rakulp

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Below is a link to a Bloom County cartoon for years ago...my apologies, as I can't seem to make it show up on it's own, so you'll have to click it.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y28/morningstar1/offensitivity50.jpg

Back when that cartoon came out, I thought it was appropriate...and more so in today's world for situations like these. 

Rak


Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2015, 03:02:41 AM »

Offline TheFlex

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Yes. John Kasich said in the Republican debate "no more publicly criticizing Israel." I am a Jew. That was a chilling moment in the debate.

The one thing Americans cannot do is criticize Israel. Even if you're Jewish, you're still labeled an antisemite. It is having a trickling effect on all free speech, particularly American foreign policy, which is the sector of American politics primarily bankrupting the American people.


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Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2015, 03:39:21 AM »

Offline PhoSita

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And the letter at Yale can't really just be boiled down to "look away". Rather, it was a call for students rather than college administrators to decide for themselves what they deemed as appropriate, and it went even further to encourage dialogue with those individuals who "offended" them. So it was a call for students to govern themselves rather than relying on college administrators, and boiling it down to "look away" doesn't do the letter justice.

I think there are situations where encouraging students to engage in a dialogue, instead of flatly banning conduct that could be considered offensive, could be a useful learning opportunity.

On the other hand, I don't think there's much to be gained by asking students, especially minority students who are already doing their best just to fit in at a historically white school, to attempt to "engage in a dialogue" with fellow students who are just being jerks (for lack of a more appropriate term I can't use on these forums). 

Going out in black face on Halloween is just being a jerk.  I don't think that needs to be protected.  There's no dialogue there.  It's just daring somebody to punch you in the face, or making somebody feel bad about the fact that they're not in a position to punch you in the face.


Point being, there's nuance here.  The administration of a school, like Yale, could take a hard-line stance against flagrantly offensive costumes without suspending any student who wears something that offends somebody else.  As always, the solutions to problems don't need to be all or nothing.
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Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2015, 03:41:07 AM »

Offline PhoSita

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Yes. John Kasich said in the Republican debate "no more publicly criticizing Israel." I am a Jew. That was a chilling moment in the debate.

The one thing Americans cannot do is criticize Israel. Even if you're Jewish, you're still labeled an antisemite. It is having a trickling effect on all free speech, particularly American foreign policy, which is the sector of American politics primarily bankrupting the American people.


Few extreme viewpoints bother me, and frankly scare me in the dogmatism they inspire, than Zionism.


I often wonder when it will be that we will finally look back on this era and realize that in so staunchly supporting Israel we endorsed and perpetuated a regime not unlike the one in Apartheid-era South Africa.
You値l have to excuse my lengthiness葉he reason I dread writing letters is because I am so apt to get to slinging wisdom & forget to let up. Thus much precious time is lost.
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Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2015, 03:46:53 AM »

Offline PhoSita

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Anyway, not super easy, the professor, and most freedom lovers, wouldn't support a disparaging costume,  but there is a greater point, you can't stop someone from doing things and saying stuff that offends you in the real world (At least for now), why should you be able to stop freedom at Yale?


Lots of things that aren't illegal in the real world are banned for students at universities, for a whole host of reasons.

The simplest one being that a university is supposed to be a place to learn.  And yes, that should involve coming up against viewpoints different than your own and being challenged on them.  But it also means feeling safe and respected, by the administration of the school if not your peers.  It's meant to be a place where you can focus on learning, not confronting your peers about how outrageously ignorant and insensitive they are. 


I imagine students at Yale aren't allowed to create posters with swastikas on them and post them in the hallway, for example.  That's a restriction of free speech.  Where's the outrage about that?
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Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2015, 04:17:43 AM »

Offline JSD

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Anyway, not super easy, the professor, and most freedom lovers, wouldn't support a disparaging costume,  but there is a greater point, you can't stop someone from doing things and saying stuff that offends you in the real world (At least for now), why should you be able to stop freedom at Yale?


Lots of things that aren't illegal in the real world are banned for students at universities, for a whole host of reasons.

The simplest one being that a university is supposed to be a place to learn.  And yes, that should involve coming up against viewpoints different than your own and being challenged on them.  But it also means feeling safe and respected, by the administration of the school if not your peers.  It's meant to be a place where you can focus on learning, not confronting your peers about how outrageously ignorant and insensitive they are. 


I imagine students at Yale aren't allowed to create posters with swastikas on them and post them in the hallway, for example.  That's a restriction of free speech.  Where's the outrage about that?

A swastika affixed inside a private dwelling is different than students walking around on public property in a Halloween costume.

Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2015, 04:27:31 AM »

Offline TheFlex

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Yes. John Kasich said in the Republican debate "no more publicly criticizing Israel." I am a Jew. That was a chilling moment in the debate.

The one thing Americans cannot do is criticize Israel. Even if you're Jewish, you're still labeled an antisemite. It is having a trickling effect on all free speech, particularly American foreign policy, which is the sector of American politics primarily bankrupting the American people.


Few extreme viewpoints bother me, and frankly scare me in the dogmatism they inspire, than Zionism.


I often wonder when it will be that we will finally look back on this era and realize that in so staunchly supporting Israel we endorsed and perpetuated a regime not unlike the one in Apartheid-era South Africa.

I haven't bothered to specifically check, but I would guess that the efforts Israel's Public Relations department has put in brainwashing Western populations exceeds even Apartheid South Africa, who, as all similar states do, relied on effective propaganda for political survival. Considering that there are still otherwise intelligent people who call Nelson Mandela a "terrorist" (btw, the same logic equating justified resistance, a divine right in our constitution, with terrorism could also be used to call the Founding Fathers "terrorists" for instigating the American Revolution against Britain), I don't think anti-Palestinian sentiment will disappear from the Western political conversation any time soon.

Until things like blanket labeling of Guantanmo detainees as terrorists stop becoming casual occurrences and start becoming offensive moments in Presidential debates, the political tide will not turn on Israel. The first step is reversing the dehumanization of Muslims.

Also concerning: as the brutality of Western military forces and IDF increase both in frequency and in magnitude in Middle Eastern combat zones, it will be harder for the Western media to black out. That doesn't mean they will stop trying to black it out. How far will they go to ensure the integrity of their propaganda?


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Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2015, 08:28:13 AM »

Offline kozlodoev

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Students at Mizzou harassing a journalist trying to film at a public event.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QrIBscRS0Y

Pretty sure that's also free speech
No, trying to remove someone from public space is in fact against Missouri law. So is assault (that's what we call restraining and pushing someone).

The most disturbing part about this were not the students though (because, college). It is the fact that a professor and a campus administrator were involved in said lawbreaking/harassment. These people are a disgrace to academia.
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Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2015, 09:07:21 AM »

Offline csfansince60s

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I love the marketplace of ideas that this board often presents. While I don't always agree with some arguments, they usually make me think more in depth about things and often give me a different perspective that is very much appreciated. When I first saw the video below (my first exposure to the Yale issue), my take and concerns were a little different than what the OPs video of the same protest

Here is another youtube video of the same confrontation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IEFD_JVYd0

Also. not sure if Christakis' wife's (and co-master of Silliman) letter is done justice (that's a popular word nowadays) distilled down to a 1/2 a sentence in the OP. It's long but may be worth a read. Judge for yourself. I apologize for it's length, but wanted to share it as it changed my perception of the Yale incident.

Quote
Dear Sillimanders:

Nicholas and I have heard from a number of students who were frustrated by the mass email sent to the student body about appropriate Halloween-wear. I致e always found Halloween an interesting embodiment of more general adult worries about young people. As some of you may be aware, I teach a class on 典he Concept of the Problem Child, and I was speaking with some of my students yesterday about the ways in which Halloween traditionally a day of subversion for children and young people is also an occasion for adults to exert their control.

When I was young, adults were freaked out by the specter of Halloween candy poisoned by lunatics, or spiked with razor blades (despite the absence of a single recorded case of such an event). Now, we致e grown to fear the sugary candy itself. And this year, we seem afraid that college students are unable to decide how to dress themselves on Halloween.

I don稚 wish to trivialize genuine concerns about cultural and personal representation, and other challenges to our lived experience in a plural community. I know that many decent people have proposed guidelines on Halloween costumes from a spirit of avoiding hurt and offense. I laud those goals, in theory, as most of us do. But in practice, I wonder if we should reflect more transparently, as a community, on the consequences of an institutional (which is to say: bureaucratic and administrative) exercise of implied control over college students.

It seems to me that we can have this discussion of costumes on many levels: we can talk about complex issues of identify, free speech, cultural appropriation, and virtue 都ignalling. But I wanted to share my thoughts with you from a totally different angle, as an educator concerned with the developmental stages of childhood and young adulthood.

As a former preschool teacher, for example, it is hard for me to give credence to a claim that there is something objectionably 殿ppropriative about a blonde-haired child痴 wanting to be Mulan for a day. Pretend play is the foundation of most cognitive tasks, and it seems to me that we want to be in the business of encouraging the exercise of imagination, not constraining it. I suppose we could agree that there is a difference between fantasizing about an individual character vs. appropriating a culture, wholesale, the latter of which could be seen as (tacky)(offensive)(jejeune)(hurtful), take your pick. But, then, I wonder what is the statute of limitations on dreaming of dressing as Tiana the Frog Princess if you aren稚 a black girl from New Orleans? Is it okay if you are eight, but not 18? I don稚 know the answer to these questions; they seem unanswerable. Or at the least, they put us on slippery terrain that I, for one, prefer not to cross.

Which is my point. I don稚, actually, trust myself to foist my Halloweenish standards and motives on others. I can稚 defend them anymore than you could defend yours. Why do we dress up on Halloween, anyway? Should we start explaining that too? I致e always been a good mimic and I enjoy accents. I love to travel, too, and have been to every continent but Antarctica. When I lived in Bangladesh, I bought a sari because it was beautiful, even though I looked stupid in it and never wore it once. Am I fetishizing and appropriating others cultural experiences? Probably. But I really, really like them too.

Even if we could agree on how to avoid offense and I値l note that no one around campus seems overly concerned about the offense taken by religiously conservative folks to skin-revealing costumes I wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive? American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition. And the censure and prohibition come from above, not from yourselves! Are we all okay with this transfer of power? Have we lost faith in young people痴 capacity in your capacity to exercise self-censure, through social norming, and also in your capacity to ignore or reject things that trouble you? We tend to view this shift from individual to institutional agency as a tradeoff between libertarian vs. liberal values (斗iberal in the American, not European sense of the word).

Nicholas says, if you don稚 like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended. Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offence are the hallmarks of a free and open society.

But again, speaking as a child development specialist I think there might be something missing in our discourse about the exercise of free speech (including how we dress ourselves) on campus, and it is this: What does this debate about Halloween costumes say about our view of young adults, of their strength and judgment?

In other words: Whose business is it to control the forms of costumes of young people? It痴 not mine, I know that.

Happy Halloween.

 

Yours sincerely,

Erika

Re: So... Anyone else concerned about the war on free speech?
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2015, 09:10:51 AM »

Offline fairweatherfan

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I am. Im tired of it. Perhaps a republucan president would fix some of it. But the thought of carson or trump winning makes me cringe. Im tired of slacktivism and the daily social media and twitter campaigns. Im tired of people being offended over the color of a starbucks cup, and im tired of the US pop. In general. People being offended by this stuff is offensive to me. Grow some skin people. With the tradgedies and horrors going on in the world the things that trend and are fought against are halloween costumes and cups, good lord

Exactly. This was mainly an issue in liberals, but now conservative Christians are starting to jump on the "offended" bandwagon and use it to their advantage.

Where did this come from? It's like all of a sudden there is now this notion that you can't respectfully disagree with someone else without vilifying them. This is one of the dangers of this radicalized PC that is so rampant nowadays, and it's a really dangerous precedent to set for the future.

"starting"?  Liberals and conservatives of all sorts have had their share of sacred cows for a loooooong time now, and they tend to get very upset when someone messes with them.  See any story in the past 30 years about someone disrespecting an American flag.  Or the annual "War on Christmas" nonsense that's been getting trotted out for at least a decade or so now.

Very little about any of this is new; we have a much greater ability to communicate and spread information without major media to serve as a middleman, and the targets have shifted as they always do.  But the tendency to overreact to seemingly trivial offenses has been around since at least the Romans.  And so has the fact that these overreactions are generally indicative of a deeper source of animosity and mistrust.  It's more fruitful to try and figure out what's underlying these specific types of responses and how legitimate it might be than to just make the classic blanket statements about how society's going downhill or start lining up one's own overreaction by declaring it a "war".


Quote
Where did this come from? It's like all of a sudden there is now this notion that you can't respectfully disagree with someone else without vilifying them.

Again I think this tendency's been around forever, but this is one I think is actually increasing, precisely because of our new sources of communication (mainly online).  It's been found that the human mind struggles to think of people as individuals as we interact with more of them; ~150's been estimated as a typical cap.  When you interact with more and more people as we can now, you're more motivated to stereotype them because it's overwhelming to treat everyone as a separate individual.  Most places online if you get into a discussion on a controversial topic you'll have people attacking you for all kinds of things you never said; eventually you realize it's because they're talking to the stereotype instead of the person.  This seems difficult to fix because it's mainly a human brain problem.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 09:17:10 AM by foulweatherfan »