8/17/2017 2 Comments
I won't defend the violent actions of hate groups in Charlottesville this week. Hate is sick and ugly, and the alt-right can be just as retarded, hypocritical and snowflake-y as SJWs.
But. I will say that the regressive, illiberal left -- the part that considers words to be violence, and actual, physical violence to be an acceptable response to "offensive" speech and actions (including, say, public lectures about intelligence and wearing dreadlocks) -- may be complicit in the murder of Heather Heyer, a Charlottesville paralegal who died when James Alex Fields sped his car into a crowd of counter-protestors last Saturday.
A new Streamable video shows that, immediately before speeding up his car, which was basically idling, an emotional illiberal struck his car with a blunt object (originally thought to be a baseball bat, but now thought to be a flag pole):
This idiotic move turned what should have been a clear-cut case of murder into a defensible act of manslaughter -- or even self-defense.
See, in order to prove something was murder, you need to establish motive and intention.
Because social justice dogma condones violence against conservatives, moderates, skeptics, and other heretics, it is now possible for Fields to defend his actions. "They struck my car! I was scared! I didn't mean to hurt anyone!"
Of course, plenty of character witnesses will be able to cast doubt on his claim -- he was, after all, aNazi sympathizer with extreme views -- but will that be enough to find him guilty, beyond a shadow of a doubt?
Alt-righters have already seized upon the opportunity to defend Fields. The Conservative Tribune wrote on Tuesday:
The man accused of ramming his car into protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday seems to have already been found “guilty” by the media… but there may be more to the story than is being reported...
One act, one emotional decision, fueled by the idea that "progressive" violence is acceptable, has already provided a scapegoat to what many have described a "white terrorist". (I don't think he technically fits the definition of a terrorist, but that's not my area of expertise.)
One act has caused controversy and division where there should have been solidarity and agreement.
It's like Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff wrote in their recent Atlantic piece, Why It's a Bad Idea to Tell Students Words are Violence,
It tells the members of a generation already beset by anxiety and depression that the world is a far more violent and threatening place than it really is. It tells them that words, ideas, and speakers can literally kill them. Even worse: At a time of rapidly rising political polarization in America, it helps a small subset of that generation justify political violence. A few days after the riot that shut down Yiannopoulos’s talk at Berkeley, in which many people were punched, beaten, and pepper sprayed by masked protesters, the main campus newspaper ran five op-ed essays by students and recent alumni under the series title “Violence as self defense.” One excerpt: “Asking people to maintain peaceful dialogue with those who legitimately do not think their lives matter is a violent act.”
These words ring true -- not just during controversial protests (where other factors, like deidentification and mob mentality, are at play), but also in everyday interactions. Remember that white guy with dreads who was forcefully confronted by a black student for "stealing" his culture?
(Especially gross is the part where she puts her hands on him, and then tells him, repeatedly, "Do not put your hands on me." This is why so many people don't believe rape victims.)
Or remember the angry, psychotic protestors at Evergreen State College -- who were pissed because a white professor spoke out against asking white people to stay off campus in the name of equality:
They later shut down the campus for several days because police could no longer guarantee safety.
And, of course, the "I need some muscle over here" professor at Mizzou:
And the gleeful celebration of the torture and death of Otto Warmbier, whose only crime was being white, in North Korea
Many of the people in these videos are clearly mentally ill. But others... seem to relish the threats. Seem to relish screaming in professors' faces and laughing uproariously and derisively at those who are trying to reason with them.
It helps the alt-right recruit new members to their cause.
It gives speakers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter a much larger audience and spotlight than they deserve. (Milo has clearly never taken a basic statistics class in his life -- but damn, is he a genius at self-promotion.)
And, taken to extremes, it provides a viable defense to actions that would otherwise be indefensible.
I think we'd all be better off if we'd show a little more class, dignity, respect, and civility.
Want to know more? Check out The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Religion and Politics.
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