Pardon me whilst I go a bit stream of conscious on you.
Here’s comes another piece that I’ve started and stopped and futzed with and wrote and rewrote and tried again, and it just wasn’t coming together the way that I wanted it to. Coherency is a plus when it comes to writing, even here.
You’re welcome for that dedication to creating something legible.
Although you might not be thankful after you get through this mess.
Last week I found myself having to really ask some tough questions, of myself and, to a certain degree, my friends and neighbors. The question is this:
what is a belief, what is an opinion, what is dogma.. and what’s just over the line and beyond the pale of decency.
In other words, what ideas are so far over the line that they fall outside of what I would consider protected free speech, at last so far as it comes to giving them legitimacy. When can I say “nope, not worthy of event acknowledging that idea by engaging into a discussion I give it credibility it does not deserve.”
Here’s an example, someone who believes that the Holocaust is a myth, perpetrated by Jews, and that in reality, it never happened.
There are people in this world who believe this crap.
I will never discuss their views with them, it’s not worthy of the debate. There is no legitimate position here to debate. When you take a position like this, you do so, not to introduce a honest intellectual argument for consideration, you do so to intimidate people, express to the world that you hate Jewish people and make a statement. That’s not discussion worthy, it’s not worthy of anything other than distain and if you make that statement publicly, ridicule and cancelation. Done.
So, this week I found myself in a discussion that went something like this-
- Black Lives Matter is the most racist organization in the history of the United States. (Direct quote)
- Critical Race Theory is a Marxist plot to overthrow America by making our children disloyal America haters. (Pretty direct quote)
- America was founded by Christian men as a Christian country, for Christians. Other people should be thankful to be here, and not cause trouble. (Implied statement)
I think that sums it up.
The rant went on to state that these are religious and political beliefs that are protected somehow. Those who disagree are part of a vast radical left wing conspiracy to cancel voices on the right.
And of course the cherry on top “and stop calling me a racist, I’m not a racist, I love everyone.”
Side note, I’m not sure what religious viewpoint is stated here. Then again, the Westborough Baptist Church has a dogma that’s nothing but racism and misogyny and hate. It doesn’t deserve protection. ACLU or not.
My question and struggle is this, am I guilty of applying my bias against what I should accept as legitimate positions? Am I wrong to believe that this person is a racist, and would not pass my personal litmus test for people I associate with. Which BTW is this: if you were living in Germany in 1938 and watched the Nazi’s collect your Jewish neighbor in a truck and make them vanish, would you intervene. If the answer is no, I have no time for you.
This case, I believe the answer is worse than no, I believe this person, if housing Jews become against the law, would be on the phone reporting on their neighbors, because it’s their duty.
Sorry I digress.
I think I’ve lost perspective in the last five years as to what is and what is not a legitimate political position.
My senator in Wisconsin, Ron Johnson, has come out and said that the insurrection on January 6 was never dangerous and never meant to hurt anyone. He goes on to state that he’s more afraid of BLM and Antifa than of the nice people who visited the capital that day. He even made comments early on that they he believed that all those grizzled guys in body armor and confederate regalia and Trump flags were actually Antifa, in disguise.
Never mind that we have yet to arrest an Antifa anything, but have had no problem finding scads of his racist, rightwing types.
My point is, when the arguments are based on complete fabrication, where is there room for legitimate debate?
I guess I would need to see all the white people dragged out of their homes at night and lynched by BLM activists to really give any credibility to this argument. Because as of right now that population is somewhere between zero and zero. And to put that kind of hyperbole in a statement doesn’t help anyone.
I’m not sure when it became OK to not to cancel racist ideas. Shit, I wish someone would have canceled Henry Ford back the. He hated Jews. He paid to publish the Protocols of the Elders Of Zion, he was awarded medals by Adolf Hitler. Why BTW? He hated Unions and Jews were heavily involved in the early labor movement.
But Sank, it’s free speech and he has a point.
What fucking point? Are we going to debate that Jews don’t control the world, only a county here and there? There is no point. Excuse my language, but I really can’t think of another word that’s as emphatic as that one.
Gobbels, Nazi propaganda minister, who BTW poisoned his wife, all of his six kids, and himself rather than defend his own his lies, knew how to manipulate opinion. Make an outrageous lie, then back-track. But not all the way back, just enough to stop the attention. And later do it again. You’re climbing a ladder of misinformation that way. And, if we’re not careful, we look around and realize nonsense has become accepted as truth.
That’s how Trump sold his followers on his unproven, and completely disputed lie that the election was stolen. He started setting them up before the campaign. He planted doubt, truth got lost.and.. here we are nine months later and he still gets airtime and divides the country in the interest of overthrowing our democracy. States are passing voter restriction laws to protect against a fraud that never happened, Arizona is paying a grifter company to count votes in what’s been the longest recount in the history of recounts. Perhaps they aren’t liking the results…
I don’t know. I’m just not going to give an inch to any person who wants have a “debate” based on lies or racist ideology. I feel like it gives those ideas credibility that they don’t deserve.
You can think what you want, but I can also ridicule and cancel you.
Freedom of speech is not freedom on consequences.