E-mail Scott
Scott's Links
About the Author
Opinion Archives
Social Media:
Google Plus
Monthly Archives:

January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
June 2017

Powered by Blogger
Subscribe via RSS

Monday, April 28, 2014

The hypocrisy of opposing intolerance by being intolerant

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

Indiana Daily Student columnist Evan Stahr demonstrated last week that he does not understand the nature of tolerance, much less freedom of speech or academic freedom. As an example, take these three statements from his editorial in the IDS.

  • It is up to the community of IU students to keep bigots off campus.
  • Every time I see an advertisement for hate, it is taken down or painted over within a day.
  • They need to be sent a strong, unmistakable message — you are not welcome here.

The group Stahr wants to force off campus is one that will get no support or sympathy from many (if any) outside that small student group - that student group claims to be a "white nationalist" group and has ties to the Ku Klux Klan. (Yes, those people are still around in 2014, and in Bloomington.) Opposition to this wicked ideology is universal across the political spectrum, from Republicans, Democrats and independents.

But here is the problem: It is not up to would-be vigilantes like Stahr, or even the IU administration, to decide that the "traditional youth" movement or the students who support that movement do not belong on the campus of a public university. As long as the self-described white nationalists are obeying the law and not breaking university rules of conduct, they have every right to be on campus spreading their message, no matter how sinful that message is. Such is the nature of free speech.

Censorship does nothing but elevate the white nationalists and makes the censors look like they do not have the intellectual capacity or emotional stability needed to refute easily refutable arguments. Violence against the white nationalists - which has happened - is even more counterproductive because it is not only immoral and illegal, but it completely discredits the people engaged in it. No one is going to respect your argument or you as a person if your first reaction is censorship, or worse, violence.

But this sort of attitude has implications far beyond some unsavory white nationalists. Extreme Leftists who engage in censorship by mob rule as a matter of normal behavior will not stop once the white nationalists are gone. Instead, they will turn to others. It could be anti-abortion students, Christian students openly advocating Biblical sexual morality, or opponents of affirmative action. This has dangerous implications for free speech, free thought and academic freedom. The university administration needs to step up and say that all views - no matter how abhorrent - are welcome at Indiana University.

Below are the rules for commenting on ConservaTibbs.com.

  1. A reasonable level of civility is expected. While it is expected that controversial political and social issues may generate heated debate, there are common-sense limits of civility that will be enforced.

  2. This blog is a family-friendly site. Therefore no cursing, profanity, vulgarity, obscenity, etc. will be allowed. This is a zero-tolerance rule and will result in automatic deletion of the offending post.

  3. Anonymity has greatly coarsened discourse on the Internet, so pseudonyms are discouraged but not forbidden. That said, any direct criticism of a person by name may not be done anonymously. If you criticize someone, you must subject yourself to the same level of scrutiny or the comment will be deleted.

  4. You must put a name or pseudonym on your comments. All comments by "Anonymous" will be deleted.

  5. Please keep your comments relevant to the topic of the post.

Thank you for your cooperation.


At April 28, 2014 at 8:49 AM , Blogger Dan Hiester said...  

The flip side of the "all views should be welcome" argument I think you've forgotten to mention (but I have seen you mention elsewhere) is that sharing one's views is not free of consequence. If someone feels persecuted because of the natural or administrative consequences of the views they express, maybe they should re-think how valuable their views really are in the long run.

If the community keeps removing these hate groups' ads, I suggest that's the marketplace of ideas hard at work.

At April 29, 2014 at 2:04 PM , Blogger Mike Newton said...  

"Opposition to this wicked ideology is universal across the political spectrum, from Republicans, Democrats and independents."

Well, hardly. Various Republicans we both could name, including elected officials, still speak fondly of slavery, associate openly with the white supremacist CCC, and post the most obnoxious racist "news" on sites such as WorldNetDaily. Ron Paul has never seriously broken with his Nazi cronies from the 1990s, and Pat Buchanan is beloved by Holocaust deniers. Both the Sons of Confederate Veterans and its ally, the League of the South, are infested with Klan allies and associates, including some in leadership positions. Need I mention once again your buddy Larry Pratt's affinity for Aryan Nations thugs and the neo-Nazi Christian Identity cult, or the racist filth posted about the Obamas online by some of your Tea Party cronies?

At May 4, 2014 at 10:11 AM , Blogger Scott Tibbs said...  

There are racists, certainly. But they are a tiny minority - virtually nonexistent in modern American politics.