In Defense Of The Right To Offend

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Any time we hear about one of these instances in which a ‘controversial speaker’ is disinvited or forced to cancel an event at a college campus due to threats of violence, or in the case of Berkeley, actual violence it elicits a played out troupe of responses from the liberal peanut gallery; ‘the first amendment only protects you from government censorship maaaaaaaaan,’ or ‘hate speech is not protected by the first amendment,’ and of course the dismissive ‘but if it’s just a bunch of snowflake college kids why do you care?’ etc.

Here’s the thing; hate speech is most definitely protected by the first amendment and thank Buddha that it is. Giving those in power the ability to police abstract concepts like ‘hate speech’ is incredibly dangerous. How does one even define hate speech? To a men’s rights activist it may mean one thing, to a feminist another, to a neo-Nazi hate speech will be defined in a way that is entirely different than the way an orthodox Jew will interpret it. If ‘hate speech’ is banned then those in power can silence opposition by simply smacking it with the ‘hate speech’ label – what better way to open the door to certain tyranny.

As for the idea that ‘the first amendment only applies to gov’t censorship’ — I have no desire to litigate in a blog post – although one could make a pretty solid argument that any school receiving tuition payments in the form of federal student loans, etc. be bound by that amendment (this is precisely how Title IX works btw). More important than that though is the spirit of free speech. To drive a person away from giving a public lecture through the use of violence and intimidation is – at the very least – a gross violation of the spirit one of our nation’s founding principles.

That this behavior is perpetrated by students, and passively encouraged (failing to immediately condemn such acts is without a doubt a form of passive encouragement) at institutes of higher learning around the U.S., is in a word – disgusting. Not only are we failing our nation’s young people by denying them the opportunity to absorb a range of viewpoints, but we are conditioning an entire generation to believe nothing is up for debate, uncomfortable ideas should be silenced or at the very least avoided, and that the appropriate response when confronted with an opposing viewpoint is to silence that viewpoint through ad hominem or, worse, physical attacks.

Highly regarded schools like Yale, Berkeley, and Michigan among others are creating the media pundits and policy makers of tomorrow. As such, passing these incidents off (and there have been a great many that haven’t received the type of press that Berkeley does) as minor blips on the socio-political radar does a massive disservice to our ongoing pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and our nation’s welfare as a whole.

TLDR – Hey college dickheads, put down the bottle rockets and quit assaulting professors.

How A Media Witch Hunt Turned Milo Yiannopoulos Into a Martyr For Free Speech

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Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos announced his resignation from the far-right news website Tuesday after a firestorm over his comments in which he appeared to condone pedophilia.

Full New York Post article here

Prior to the latest developments I was more a casual Milo observer than a ‘fan’, but since this witch hunt kicked off I’ve become a fan and fully intend to buy his book and attend an event. The whole situation is overflowing with hypocrisy — the American right is filled with pedos and boy touchers, and the left — in the midst of its glee over this controversy seems to have totally forgotten its longtime ‘listen to the victim’ schtick. In short, everyones a fuckin asshole…except me.

Milo recently addressed the outrage over the clips — which if you haven’t seen them were edited and taken wildly out of context.

Among his more salient points were the fact that Milo who is himself a victim of sexual abuse, uses dark ‘gallows’ humor to address this chapter of his life, and has been responsible for the arrest of several child sex offenders. But why let facts get in the way of a good witch hunt? People have spent the last year or so trying to silence Milo, because in 2017 when someone says something that we disagree with we go out of our way to ruin their career and reputation. Never mind beating them on the battlefield of ideas the way Bill Maher set out to do in last week’s Overtime.

Nope, in 2017 if you say the wrong thing about the wrong people — in Milo’s case that would be Islam and feminism — you may as well slap a big fat bullseye on your own back. The mob will not be silenced until you are! It’s so disgusting that it seems un-American to do so.

And please, spare me the dribble about how ‘the first amendment doesn’t protect you from the consequences of your speech.’ While that may be entirely true in the most technical sense, it’s little more than a convenient way to socially manipulate the spirit of free speech and free expression that we’re supposed to value in this country. It’s also part of the reason that we have found ourselves with an Orange skinned jackass in the oval office. People became so tired of being told what was socially acceptable to think or say that they eventually shut up and did their talking on election day, and surprise surprise they voted for the guy who used every debate, tweet, and campaign event as an opportunity to roast his opponents in the most crass manner possible.

Or as Milo put it:

Don’t think for a moment that this will stop me being as offensive, provocative and outrageously funny as I want on any subject I want. America has a colossal free speech problem. The land of the First Amendment has some of the most oppressive social restrictions on free expression anywhere in the western world. I’m proud to be a warrior for free speech and creative expression.

I want everyone in America, the greatest country in the history of human civilisation, to be able to be, do, read and say anything. I will never stop fighting for your right to do that.

If you have the time his full press conference is worth checking out.

Cuba Libre? Not For Dissidents Who Were Stuffed In Jail Cells Ahead Of Obama’s Visit

American Military News picked up my piece on President Obama’s trip to Cuba.

Cuba may be just a stone’s throw from the southernmost tip of Florida, but it exists in another universe when it comes to basic human rights.

This week President Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Marxist-Leninist republic since 1959.

During his address from Havana, Obama called for an expansion of freedoms in the communist country. If that message didn’t reach Cuba’s jail cells, we can only hope that President Raul Castro heard it loud and clear.

Read the rest here…

#TheTriggering: How A Twitter Hashtag Sent The PC Police Running For The Nearest Safe Space

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Sometime around 2014 or so trigger warnings became the cause du jour of college social justice warriors seeking to make their campus bubbles just a little bit safer.

Students at UC Santa Barbara, Scripps College, Oberlin College and other institutes of higher learning demanded (and in many cases were granted) warnings that preceded course material that could trigger unpleasant memories of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, stubbed toes, dropped ice cream cones, a case of the runs after a bad plate of pad Thai, etc.

The trend migrated from clinical psychiatry to feminist blogs to college campuses and then back to the internet where it is often found on the Tumblr and Reddit pages of the easily rattled.

While web surfers are free to click and download as they choose, the practice has raised questions about free speech and expression in an academic environment.  In an essay published in The New Yorker, Harvard law professor Jeannie Suk wrote that  “About a dozen new teachers of criminal law at multiple institutions have told me that they are not including rape law in their courses, arguing that it’s not worth the risk of complaints of discomfort by students.”

Considering the company that a Harvard law professor likely keeps this is beyond troubling. If professors at the country’s most highly regarded schools can be bullied into altering course content over fear of student complaints then it does not bode well for the rest of academia. One could argue that this amounts to an attempt at the coercive abolition of free speech by the campus social justice crowd or at the very least signals the first steps down an incredibly slippery slope.

This week Lauren Southern, a contributor at Rebel Media, struck a blow in favor of liberty with #TheTriggering.

In an article for International Business Times, Southern wrote that she initially suggested #TheTriggering as a joke, but was encouraged by positive feedback.

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“The reaction was overwhelmingly positive. With threats to our freedom of expression coming thick and fast both online and in the real world, I knew we had to go through with it.”

Southern said she picked March 9 as the day of reckoning because it was, “the day after International Women’s Day and the day before Osama bin Laden’s birthday, giving us the maximum opportunity to make jokes about both events.”

#TheTriggering drew an explosive response with one Twitter user telling Southern that it prompted a classroom discussion on freedom of speech.

And that’s exactly the point replied Southern because as she explained, and those who love liberty will agree,  “We don’t want the very free speech that our forefathers fought and died for to disappear in the most coercive and underhanded way possible. We will not let our liberty perish at the hands of the professionally offended.”

Want to get in on the fun? Jump on twitter and fire away with your #TheTriggering tweets. And if you need some inspiration here are a few of my favorites.

Nero

 

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Crowder

 

Free Speech Is Under Attack In Canada

Greetings ya fucks! American Military News recently picked up a piece I wrote about the war on free speech up in Canada. With everyone and their mother threatening to head for cooler climes if the Donald becomes the next president, it’s worth taking a look at how Canada views our constitutionally protected freedoms. If you’re a fan of things like freedom and liberty the answer may upset you. if you’re a regressive crybaby who thinks we should legislate based on hurt feelings, the answer may delight you.

To read the full piece click here.