From the New York Times editorial board: America Has a Free Speech Problem

Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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293 Responses

  1. Sam Wilkinson
    Ignored
    says:

    This is such ludicrous bullshit. America doesn’t have a free speech problem. It has a “the same old white people who used to say whatever bullshit they wanted without fear of criticism and feedback or consequence, and now that they’re enduring even a little bit of what they’ve spent decades giving out, they’re conflating equality with the alleged erosion of their own forever privileged and protected position.”

    It’s absolutely pathetic how delicate these people truly are, and it’s equally unnerving just how little they were ever actually committed to the concept of free speech in the first place. They only ever saw it as ensuring their right to spout off without ever having to consider, let alone acknowledge, the possibility that anybody anywhere might disagree.Report

  2. Doctor Jay
    Ignored
    says:

    While I agree that we have a problem, I do not agree with the NYT Ed Board formulation of the problem.

    What we are experiencing is context collapse. There’s a Wikipedia entry for it, go ahead and look it up if you want.

    We have always had a situation where people objected in strenuous and sometimes violent terms to other’s opinions. Consider all the blackballing in Hollywood in the 50’s and the HUAC, for instance. In the 60’s, marching for desegregation could get you shot or lynched. In the 70’s coming out as gay could have violent or even deadly consequences.

    What is different now is that anything one says, at any place on the internet, can instantaneously be accessible to everyone, and while most people are of the “drive on” variety, those who aren’t of that disposition are amplified enormously. This is a challenge to us, for sure. Something can be said that in one group is unremarkable, or maybe just kind of dumb or poorly put, but in another group might be toxic and shameful. And one never knows who one is talking to, on the internet.

    And it doesn’t help that on social media, people often feel the need to perform their alliances. This is not a problem of the left or of the right, but of people.

    I don’t have a silver bullet for this. I guess my hope is that as a culture, we will develop some antibodies to this disease, and just kind of slow down.Report

    • North in reply to Doctor Jay
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      says:

      I’m inclined to agree with your analysis. Context collapse, the novelty of social media and the fact that our most influential organizations, corporations and general decision making class are all highly sensitive to that social media which gives said social media mobs an outsized ability to cause real life harm.

      I’d assume that, following the pattern of past social storms, organizations and people will eventually become inured to the social media pile ons. Once they’re robbed of the ability to actually make peoples real life lives hellish, social media mobbing will mostly become just another vague part of modernity.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to North
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        says:

        Isn’t “social media pileons” just another term for enforcement of social norms?

        Like, in previous societies when someone said something offensive and were suddenly disinclined to parties, and un-considered for promotions.

        This is why all the whinging about canceling is so absurd. There has never been, and never will be a society without social norms which are enforced by shaming and shunning.Report

        • North in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          No, I don’t believe it is. Social media is more pervasive and more widespread than ever before. A person decades ago who said something intemperate at the bar could, at the very worst, have a handful of people up in arms while everyone else in their community would only hear of it via hearsay. A person on social media who says something, angers the wrong signal boosters and/or has the wrong luck can have the collective boot of millions descend on them and every on of those millions of people experiences the offense in what they perceive as a near first hand experience.

          It’s a whole different scale of people and the rules/sensitivity is nuts. If the noise was confined to twitter or whatever I would just shrug and say “So get off twtter.” But social media has organizations, institutions and elites by the ear at the moment and can express itself in meatspace in material ways that reaches far beyond twitter.

          When corporations, government, media elites and corporate elites inevitably become inured to social media (as we already see beginning to develop- there’s no end of social media crap that everyone outside social media ignores- eventually everyone will probably ignore most crap on social media) then I think equilibrium will be restored. But we’re not there yet.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to North
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            says:

            It works the other way round also.

            In 1965 if you said something intemperate, your entire world was the very people you describe.

            Strangers in Pakistan wouldn’t be able to scold you but they weren’t part of your world either.

            European and American literature and social studies are filled with examples of how crushing and stifling social shaming and shunning was/is.
            Think of the Scarlet Letter, Edith Whartons House of Mirth, or the savage denunciation of American social norms by mid century writers like Sinclair Lewis.

            It was common back then for those who violated social norms to be forced to physically move, and leave behind everything and everyone they knew.

            I’m not saying there aren’t differences – there always are – but the underlying structure hasn’t changed.

            The dominant social group sets norms of behavior and enforces them with various tools. Sometimes this is done fairly, sometimes not.Report

            • North in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              There’s nowhere to move to escape social media now Chip.

              I’m well aware of the whole hypocrisy of conservatives shrieking about having things done to them that they so liberally (or should I say illiberally) poured out on others when their ideology was dominant. That doesn’t change my underlying point. Though I do have moments of disquiet, when watching my liberal (and especially identarian) brethren strutting on social media, and wonder if we’re so certain our ideals are so unassailable that we can’t self under mine them, as the conservatives did in their day.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to North
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                says:

                That’s very true, that modern technology has supercharged the ancient practice of gossip and made it more omnipresent.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                I wonder if Noah Smith has been reading our comments:

                It’s not Cancel Culture, it’s Cancel Technology
                Social ostracism is as old as the hills. Social media is not.

                First let’s think about distribution. In the olden days, you could “read the room” and decide whether you were going to get a sympathetic ear before you said something. You knew who you were hanging out with — your relatives, or your coworkers, or your buddies, or your neighbors, or your cell of the Communist Party, etc. On the internet, that’s much less true. On Twitter, anyone can see what you write and retweet it or screenshot it to millions of strangers all over the globe.

                In a recent post about reading controversial authors, Matt Yglesias wrote that “something about the internet is making people into infantile conformists with no taste or appreciation for the life of the mind.” I don’t think it’s any big mystery what that “something” is — it’s just broad distribution! When people can no longer confine their speech to circles they know will be sympathetic, they naturally become much more careful about what they say and what viewpoints they align themselves with.

                Thus, the internet changes Cancel Culture by massively increasing the number of people who can target you for ostracism. It’s a bit like living in a gossipy small town where you don’t know any of your neighbors — you don’t know who’s going to read what you write, so you don’t know how people are going to take what you say.

                As they say, read the whole thing.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to North
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                says:

                The problem here is that conservatives always pick the wrong examples. A good case for social media being a pillory is some poor schmoe like West Elm Craig (or whatever his name is). The is a guy who might be/probably is a callow 25 year old but probably did not deserve to be dragged all over the internet for being a callow 25 year old.

                The issue for conservatives is that they always seem to choose the worst person to die on the hill for as the person worth defending. They pick the person with absolutely sketchy behavior, the guy who sends sexist cartoons or statements in company wide e-mails, or the professor who wants to make arguments on how black students do not deserve spots at Penn Law like Amy Wax, etc. Picking these types as the hills to die on is quite bad and quite the tell.

                In contrast, a lot of liberals can look at what happened to West Elm Craig (again, I can’t remember his real first name) and decide “maybe this is going too far.”

                I get that civil liberties are not moved forward by saints but the hills conservatives often choose to die on are rather revealing in my mind. It shouldn’t be so radical an idea that it is not cool to talk about your sex lives with students anymore if it was ever cool in the first place. What the conservatives here and everywhere seem to miss is the right to be boorish with impunity.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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                says:

                What the conservatives here and everywhere seem to miss is the right to be boorish with impunity.

                From the editorial itself:

                Consider this finding from our poll: Fifty-five percent of respondents said that they had held their tongue over the past year because they were concerned about retaliation or harsh criticism. Women were more likely to report doing so — 61 percent, compared to 49 percent of men. Older respondents were less likely to have done so than other age groups. Republicans (58 percent) were slightly more likely to have held their tongues than Democrats (52 percent) or independents (56 percent).

                It’s all of those millennial women who are used to calling each other slurs playfully, I’m sure.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                The majority of people reported that they had considered making comments which were cruel and hurtful, but held their tongues and offered gracious small talk instead.

                From my forthcoming book, The Day America Died and How Its All That B!tch Dear Prudie’s FaultReport

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Hey, Chip.

                I was looking for that excerpt from the editorial and I couldn’t find it.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Its right next to the part where they describe what sort of opinions people reported keeping to themselves.

                Read it again. I’m sure its in there somewhere.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I didn’t find what you said I’d find.

                Instead I found this:

                Pollsters asked how free people felt today to discuss six topics — including religion, politics, gender identity and race relations — compared to 10 years ago: more free, less free or the same. Those who felt freest were Black respondents: At least 30 percent of them said they felt more free to speak on every topic, including 42 percent on race relations, the highest share of any racial or ethnic group. Still, that sentiment of more freedom among Black respondents reached only 46 percent, not a majority (the 46 percent being on the issue of gender identity).

                At the same time, a full 84 percent of Black people polled shared the concern of this editorial that it was a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem that some Americans do not exercise their freedom of speech out of fear of retaliation or harsh criticism. And 45 percent of Black people and nearly 60 percent of Latinos and white people polled reported that they’d held their tongues in the past year out of fear of retaliation or harsh criticism.

                Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                They would have quoted Toni Morrison, but that edition of the paper was banned in twelve states under CRT laws.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I found the section of the editorial where they talked about that sort of thing, at least.

                At the same time, all Americans should be deeply concerned about an avalanche of legislation passed by Republican-controlled legislatures around the country that gags discussion of certain topics and clearly violates the spirit of the First Amendment, if not the letter of the law.

                It goes far beyond conservative states yanking books about race and sex from public school libraries. Since 2021 in 40 state legislatures, 175 bills have been introduced or prefiled that target what teachers can say and what students can learn, often with severe penalties. Of those, 13 have become law in 11 states, and 106 are still under consideration. All told, 99 bills currently target K-12 public schools, 44 target higher education, and 59 include punishment for violators, according to a running tally kept by PEN America. In some instances, the proposed bills failed to become law. In other cases, the courts should declare them unconstitutional.

                Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                …what sort of opinions people reported keeping to themselves.

                Chip, what sorts of opinions do you think they are keeping to themselves?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t know, you don’t know, no one knows, because the people writing the editorial didn’t seem interested to find out.

                And their data shows that a majority of people feel either as free or more free to share their opinions than they did ten years ago.

                And the other bit of data is that conservatives are passing a flood of bills designed to stifle speech.

                But somehow the conclusion is that both liberals and conservatives are stifling speech. And the pundit narrative is that it is liberal political correctness which is to primarily at fault.

                You can see the idiocy here, right? The data doesn’t support the conclusion, much less the grander narrative.

                The data they present could be interpreted to mean that, because of political polarization, people are being polite in not starting arguments.

                Or, possibly due to conservative bullying and threats over CRT and trans issues, people are afraid to speak out.

                Or really any other conclusion and narrative you want to advance.

                But the grandest narrative is contained in that one single line about how people should not be shamed or shunned, which as many others have noted, is itself a call for silencing critics.Report

            • Damon in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              So the dominant social groups in America currently are gay, transgender, etc.? Cause I’m thinking all those groups compose 50%Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                Number of people in a group isn’t the correct way to measure something. The measurement is how much punishment or opposition you get for crossing that group’s lines.

                The number of people willing to punish for crossing lines has always been a minority. But social media amplifies that multiple ways.Report

      • Dark Matter in reply to North
        Ignored
        says:

        Good example is the pressure on the EE community on “master slave” terminology. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master/slave_(technology)#Terminology_concerns

        Computer chips having master/slave relationships with other computers chips is very common. That terminology is highly descriptive and accurate. Thus the lack of an intuitive replacement.Report

  3. CJColucci
    Ignored
    says:

    Americans are losing hold of a fundamental right as citizens of a free country: the right to speak their minds and voice their opinions in public without fear of being shamed or shunned.

    That is not a fundamental right of citizens of a free country. Never has been. Never will be. Never could be without infringing the actual fundamental rights of everyone else.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
      Ignored
      says:

      Do you think that anybody on the editorial board will be James Benneted next week?Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to CJColucci
      Ignored
      says:

      Look at how Sydney Powell has been shamed over and over for voicing her opinions, merely because they’re psychotic.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Mike Schilling
        Ignored
        says:

        “Look at how Ma’Khia Bryant got shot by a cop just because she was a second away from stabbing another girl.”

        If you want to say that there’s no problem, then you need to defend the least defensible cases, not the most defensible. Cases like David Shor, Donald McNeil, Emmanuel Cafferty, Steve Hsu, Edward Livingston, Dominique Moran, etc.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Brandon Berg
          Ignored
          says:

          Emmanuel Cafferty: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/stop-firing-innocent/613615/

          Hispanic guy fired for unknowingly making a white supremist hand gesture, i.e. the “ok” gesture and then twitter running amok with it.Report

          • CJColucci in reply to Dark Matter
            Ignored
            says:

            That’s Cafferty’s story. His employer says he was fired for reasons having nothing to do with that. If Cafferty’s story is right, he was wronged. If his employer’s story is right, he wasn’t. The case is now in court, where both sides are peddling their respective stories, and we may some day get enough of an idea which story is correct to say whether Cafferty was wrong or wasn’t. I don’t think the bookies are taking any action on this, so there’s little point in making a bet.Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to CJColucci
              Ignored
              says:

              According to the Atlantic, “reasons having nothing to do with that” remain undefined, even before it ended up in court.

              Worse, the employer contacted the journalist to remove their official statement’s position on not firing people because of twitter.

              My expectation is this is enough of a **** storm that we never find out the truth. They settle and part of that settlement will be an NDA.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Do you have a cite on the employer contacting the journalist?

                Everything I’m seeing says they have been silent on the matter throughout.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                There was something in one of the San Diego papers where someone from the employer gave some reasons having nothing to do with the gesture. I found it back when and mentioned it, but don’t have time or inclination to look for it now.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Oddly enough, it turned out that the hand gesture was not racial in origin, as was reported at the time, but was in fact a gesture signaling support for a proposed labor union.

                Therefore, the firing was legitimate and all interest in the case has evaporated.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                A company representative did provide a generic statement: “SDG&E employees are held to a high standard and are expected to live up to our values every day, whether in interactions with fellow employees or the public. The company did more than simply react to the photo. Multiple factors led to the decision to terminate. We conducted a good faith and thorough investigation that included gathering relevant information and multiple interviews, and took action in line with those values. While we are not able to reveal the full circumstances surrounding our investigation, we stand by our decision and will not be commenting any further.”

                So he was fired for “values”.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s not what I saw at the time.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                We might be in “media doing a bad job” territory.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                “That’s not what I saw at the time.”

                Please provide a link to an article that supports what you “saw at the time”.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                You found it yourself back when. Remember?Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                No, I think you should go find it, since you’re the one who’s making the claim. Otherwise you’re just talking out your ass.

                Like, if you want to seem as though you’re the smart one here then “I can’t be bothered to look up the sources for my claim” is not the way to do that.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                That may be what you think, but I neither give homework assignments nor take them. The article exists. The proof is that you found it. I have better things to do now than reinvent the wheel. If you want to deny the fruits of your own work, that’s odd, but, then, what else is new?Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                you’ve posted like six comments on this angrily arguing that you shouldn’t have to support your factual claims with actual references and you could have just gone to google, dude

                seriously, if you are this angry at your clients then maybe go to therapy or get a job at Burger King or somethingReport

              • CJColucci in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                I’m not angry at all, just amused. To be angry with you, I’d have to take you seriously.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Sounds like they were looking for an excuse to cut him (maybe he & management didn’t get along?), and the Twitter mob was enough to get them there.

                A person I know just had to fire an employee for non-performance, and it was a 6 month ordeal. In the end, HR made it happen simply because my friend had so much documentation that legal was confident any lawsuit coming from the former employee would die quite quickly.

                Not everyone is as meticulous as my friend when it comes to documentation.Report

          • Mike Schilling in reply to Dark Matter
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            says:

            Liz Cheney, censured by the RNC for failure to lie.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Brandon Berg
          Ignored
          says:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_G._McNeil_Jr.#Dismissal_from_The_New_York_Times

          McNeil apologized, saying that he had been “asked at dinner by a student whether [he] thought a classmate of hers should have been suspended for a video she had made as a 12-year-old in which she used a racial slur. To understand what was in the video, [he] asked if she had called someone else the slur or whether she was rapping or quoting a book title. In asking the question, [he] used the slur itself.”Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
            Ignored
            says:

            If only there was more to the story.

            Wait… from your link…

            “In 2019 McNeil accompanied a group of high school students on a New York Times sponsored trip to Peru. The purpose of the trip was for the students to learn about community-based healthcare in Peru. On January 28, 2021, The Daily Beast reported that multiple participants accused McNeil of repeatedly making racist and sexist remarks, including having used the word “nigger” in the context of discussing racist language, as well as “[using] stereotypes about Black teenagers””

            Repeated racist and sexist remarks.Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              Repeated racist and sexist remarks.

              Far as I can tell there is no dispute on what happened and the context of the situation.

              He got pulled into a discussion about racism and racist language and quoted the language itself.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                We have an explanation for one word and its usage. What of the other accusations?Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Far as I can tell, we have one incident with multiple people there, i.e. a classroom setting.

                “Other accusations” is “other people in agreement on what happened” and not “other incidents”.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                To the best of my knowledge, nothing of substance ever surfaced. McNeil posted his account in great detail on Medium, if you want to read that. There was an internal investigation into this in 2019, immediately after the trip, and he was censured for quoting the N-word and only for that, suggesting that none of the other accusations were substantiated even internally.

                Keep in mind that high school kids are…how shall I put this? Even worse judges of what is or isn’t racist or sexist than junior NYT staffers. For example, one of the allegations was that he had said that there was no such thing as systemic racism. He denied this and said that he wouldn’t have said that because of course it’s a real thing, but even if he had, that’s an empirical claim, not racism.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Brandon Berg
          Ignored
          says:

          Christopher Krebs,Report

  4. CJColucci
    Ignored
    says:

    The Times’s op-ed section has been a clusterf**k for some time, and Bennet was largely responsible. But he hasn’t been in charge since he resigned in June 2020, so I’m not sure what being “James Benneted” is supposed to mean now. Unless it means losing your job because you’re bad at it, which is how things are supposed to work, but, too often, don’t.
    Whatever it means, I am not privy to the Times’s internal workings and have no basis for an opinion about whether anyone will, or should, be walking the plank any time soon. But those who think it would be irresponsible not to speculate can knock themselves out.Report

  5. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    As I was just saying on the revived thread about Joe Rogan…
    The NYT, while generally a good source of information, has an incredible blind spot as to its own biases.

    As to this editorial, its another data point for how those who have always been in the dominant cultural group, who were the ones setting the norms and mores for everyone else, are now outraged that others have that ability.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      When I read The Scarlet Letter and other historic examples of serious repression on innocent people, the thing I take away from it isn’t “this would be fine if different innocent people were targeted”.Report

  6. Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    The NYT, while generally a good source of information, has an incredible blind spot as to its own biases.

    Isn’t this the case for most everybody, media included?Report

  7. DavidTC
    Ignored
    says:

    I repeat the same thing I repeat anytime anyone ever talks about this:

    Employers have always, _always_, been able to fire and not hire workers they do not agree with the views of.

    This article is pretending that we had freer speech in a time when job listings would say ‘No hippies’.

    And the US government explicitly wouldn’t hire queer people, something that is still legal in a whole chunk of states.

    And there, to be clear, I’m talking about white men, because, uh…it just gets worse if I don’t.

    Cancel culture, to the extent it exists at all, is literally microscopic to the employment and social status imposed on people merely because they exist as minorities or disadvantaged groups.

    Literally microscopic, I cannot stress this enough. You add literally every single supposed example of cancel culture together, and it is probably less than ‘Amount of men not hired by Walmart because they have long hair in the year 1992, which was against corporate policies because [insert dumb bigoted reason or assumptions about politics or whatever]’. One business, one reason, one year, almost certainly larger than all of ‘cancel culture’ impact put together.

    I’m not even going to go into the fact that the supposed victims of cancel culture at least _did something_, as opposed the astonishing amount of people who were injured, in _much worse_ ways (Like ‘couldn’t ever get a job’ instead of ‘lost exactly one job’.) just because of who they were.

    The _only_ reason anyone cares about ‘cancel culture’ that a very very few powerful men have been impacted by it a few times, which is an incredibly shocking thing that is never supposed to happen.

    (It actually would be very interesting to ask conservatives who complain about ‘cancel culture’ how they feel about ‘no hippies’.)Report

    • Pinky in reply to DavidTC
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      says:

      Hippies had bad hygiene. You could spot (or smell) them in a crowd. They were usually broke, and believed that shoplifting was a right. I could understand it if a place of business didn’t want to hire, or serve, hippies. If people started pressuring a business to not hire or serve hippies, it would be the business’s right to decide on their own.

      Millions of hippies cut their hair and got real jobs.

      To put it less sarcastically, they were welcomed into mainstream society and earning once they grew out of the bad behaviour. That’s the opposite of cancel culture.Report

      • CJColucci in reply to Pinky
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        says:

        This isn’t disagreement, it’s just being on the other side.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Pinky
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        says:

        I could understand it if a place of business didn’t want to hire, or serve, blacks. If people started pressuring a business to not hire or serve blacks, it would be the business’s right to decide on their own.

        I could understand it if a place of business didn’t want to hire, or serve,gays. If people started pressuring a business to not hire or serve gays, it would be the business’s right to decide on their own.

        I could understand it if a place of business didn’t want to hire, or serve, hispanics. If people started pressuring a business to not hire or serve hispanics, it would be the business’s right to decide on their own.

        Funny how those two sentences contain so much bigotry even with the original wording.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
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          says:

          The definition of “hippies” is what? Seriously unprofessional dress code and drug use? Both of those are things my fortune 500 company doesn’t allow right now.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter
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            says:

            As my parents (who are of that generation) would happily intone – Hippies referred to both the free living free thinking sometimes drug using counterculture practitioners of the 1960’s AND political leftists that the “establishment” didn’t approve of. I also don’t think its a coincidence that the drugs most heavily criminalized at the beginning of the War on Drugs (TM) were marijuana, and LSD, which enjoyed significant usage in both Black (marijuana) and hippie (LSD) communities.Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
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              says:

              That’s fine, but you’re equating “employers don’t want their employees to be high” to “bigotry”.

              Skin color is a protected class. Drug use/abuse isn’t.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Thanks for the pickup on this one. Not that anyone should have to defend their sentences with different words in them, but still.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                My point is that language disparaging one group has been and can easily be again used to actively oppress another. And Hippies – in the eyes of many at the time – were the social justice activists of today. You insist – as did those doing the hiring at the time – that they conform to a set of social norms produced largely by conservative white men, and then note that once they did so they were “rewarded” with economic opportunity.

                And yet you clearly fail to see – or actively want to avoid – the why and how that language is easily and equally pernicious applied to pretty much anyone else. Its fine to trash hippies because they weren’t black or women, or gay . . . even when the same words were once used to trash women, and blacks and gays . . .Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                If hippie was an immutable characteristic, you’d have an argument. If I’d said it’s ok to discriminate against Italians, then showed surprise you switched it to blacks, I’d be a hypocrite. But DavidTC asked about hippies, and I gave specific behavioural characteristics that explain the thinking.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                And I’m pointing out that the thinking is as flawed as the thinking about all those other groups.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Immutable versus mutable.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Flawed how?

                A school system thinks it’s a bad idea for it’s bus drivers or teachers to be high.

                I don’t understand what you’re trying to say. Are you claiming it’s ethically heinous and the equiv of racism? Are you saying that being high doesn’t impact driving / teaching?Report

              • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                That drug use was only criminalized as a way to fight back on the anti-war left and Blacks. That was the entire origin of the war on drugs. Prior to Nixon wanting to clamp down on the vocal opposition, both drugs (and a host of others) enjoyed wide use and tacit acceptance. Still do if you are rich and white.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Have you ever visited the Removal of cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act wikipedia page?

                It’s really easy to start boggling once you do.

                Here’s where I’m boggling today:

                In July 2017, a lawsuit was brought in U.S. District Court against the heads of the DEA and Justice Department on the grounds that Schedule I listing of cannabis is “so irrational that it violates the U.S. Constitution”. This lawsuit was dismissed by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein who ruled that the DEA has authority and before bringing the lawsuit the plaintiffs were required to exhaust administrative remedies including petitioning the DEA to reschedule cannabis.

                Okay. After reading that last part (emphasis added), wanna guess how many times the DEA was petitioned to reschedule cannabis at that point?

                Guess.

                I counted and I’m thinking that the answer is somewhere between three and seven times, depending on your definition of “petitioned”.

                Anyway, as crazy as the bronze age origin story was, the modern age version is crazier.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Religion is a mutable characteristic that, sometimes, leads to “specific behavioural characteristics.” So discriminating against, say, Jews for [fill in various specific behavioral characteristics] is OK?Report

              • Philip H in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Not at all – and that’s not my point.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                No, it’s not your point. It was addressed to Pinky. Sorry if that was unclear.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                We are not talking about the War on Drugs, we’re talking about employers.

                My employer would fire me if they found me high. Before they hired me they had me take a drug test.

                These are normal things. Every Fortune 500 I’ve worked for has done the same.
                That they prevent hippies from working doesn’t make it comparable to racism.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                We are not talking about the War on Drugs, we’re talking about employers.

                You may be talking about that – I’m talking about intellectual approaches, philosophy, social norms. And I’m pointing out that the words used to make attacking hippies OK back in the day was (and sometimes still is) used to oppress any number of other groups historically.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                “That’s fine, but you’re equating “employers don’t want their employees to be high” to “bigotry”.

                Skin color is a protected class. Drug use/abuse isn’t.”

                no, no, let him roll, he’s going to end up reinventing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                No, what we’re going to end up pointing out is:

                Employees can always do this. And the mere pretense of any sort of ‘cancel culture’ existing is blithering nonsense that has only shown up because a small amount of employers have decided that white men making loud bigotted comments are not people they wish to employ.

                Business owners, have _always_ ‘canceled’ people they think are ‘the wrong sort of people’, some in ways that we agree should be illegal (E.g., based on race), and some in ways that are much more iffy (E.g., they are a liberal)

                And those business, owners, the people doing the ‘canceling’ throughout history have always been the bosses, the people with power, who are almost without exception conservatives, and almost everyone they have clashed with and let go are people farther to the left of them.

                The fact it happens to one conservative for every thousand non-conservatives makes a complete joke of any conservative complaints about ‘cancel culture’.

                In fact, the fact we literally don’t notice this sort of turnover, how employees know they have to hold their tongue around their more conservative bosses, have to dress in ways that match them and literally have to have fake work personas so their bosses don’t realize ‘This person doesn’t think like I do and is probably not a good employee’ is itself somewhat telling. The fact this doesn’t _immediately_ spring to mind when talking about cancel cultures says a lot how we’ve normalized things.

                I repeat: Male employees were not allowed to have long hair at Walmart in 1998…and I honestly have no idea when that changed. If you were the sort of man who had long hair, you were _automatically_ canceled.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                So…can we fire people because we assume drug use based on their political beliefs? (You know, like literally every single person did in this conversation, pretending that ‘hippie’ and ‘drug user’ are the same word.)

                What if we assume political beliefs based on hair length, and from there assume drug use?

                What if we assume political beliefs based on skin color, and from there assume drug use?Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                You are redefining the word “hippy” to something other than this thread has been assuming.

                The basic assumption has been if you refuse to hire someone who is using drugs (and doesn’t follow the dress code) then that’s targeting the hippy population to the point of exclusion.

                Now if they aren’t using drugs and are dressed professionally then I (and everyone else) don’t see a problem.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                You are redefining the word “hippy” to something other than this thread has been assuming.

                Well, considering that a) I first used the word, and b) I was referencing signs and you have given no evidence that the people putting up the signs understood the word to mean what _you_ mean as opposed to what I mean…so what?

                The basic assumption has been if you refuse to hire someone who is using drugs (and doesn’t follow the dress code) then that’s targeting the hippy population to the point of exclusion.

                It really is astonishing how people keep _using stereotypes_ to justify bigotry.

                The signifier of hippies was the anti-war movement and political resistance to authority, along with sexual liberation and promotion of the civil rights movements. Along with various musical and clothing signifiers.

                It was a countercultural movement, not a dug use movement.

                And it was members of the countercultural movement that people refrained from hiring. (Or, rather, people not good at hiding that.)

                Yes, there was plenty of drug use, but the way to stop drug use would be to bar ‘druggies’ or ‘people on drugs’, not ‘hippies’.

                Now if they aren’t using drugs and are dressed professionally then I (and everyone else) don’t see a problem.

                You and everyone else…uh, except the people putting up the signs, who apparently have a problem with the concept of ‘hippy’ instead of any more specific qualifiers that they did not go into.

                You know, what the discussion was about?Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
            Ignored
            says:

            The definition of “hippies” is what? Seriously unprofessional dress code and drug use? Both of those are things my fortune 500 company doesn’t allow right now.

            No, unprofessional dress code is unprofessional dress code. Drug use is drug use.

            If an employer wanted to ban either of those things, they could…in fact, dress codes were pretty mandatory back at the time, so the idea that hippies would be dressed unprofessionally on the job is a bit absurd and not anything that would need to be listed. And drug use was usually already a firing offense.

            By ‘hippies’ they mostly meant ‘men with long hair, and/or who did not seem conservative’. (They already didn’t hire women.)

            It was almost entirely about _beliefs_, not any sort of behavior, because you don’t list the name of a _countercultural movement_ when you mean to ban specific things. They were, in fact, trying to ban ‘followers’ of that movement, people who believe in that movement.

            You know, the same thing that people in the conservative _movement_ keep bitching about in the incredibly rare circumstances they get let go.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        Hippies had bad hygiene. You could spot (or smell) them in a crowd. They were usually broke, and believed that shoplifting was a right.

        “It’s not discrimination, because [insert a bunch of sterotypes].”

        What a completely surreal manner of argument. What’s next in this argument, that Black people weren’t hired because [insert racial stereotype].

        The sign didn’t say ‘Will not hire people with bad hygiene’. It said ‘Will not hire class of people’.

        The hippie movement was a social and political movement consisting of political and sometimes religious beliefs.

        You know, the exact same thing conservativism is.Report

        • Pinky in reply to DavidTC
          Ignored
          says:

          As I’ve said, hippiedom is a mutable characteristic, and I think that makes a difference. Not every conservative will agree with me on this, but I don’t have much of a problem with companies hiring by belief system. I wouldn’t consider it the finest example of the American way of thinking, but I can understand it. My problems with cancel culture are more with the pressure on companies to comply, and the “permanent record” attitude is has. The way the mobs go after trivial things is also worth mentioning.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            As I’ve said, hippiedom is a mutable characteristic, and I think that makes a difference. Not every conservative will agree with me on this, but I don’t have much of a problem with companies hiring by belief system.

            So, basically, you’re actually agreeing with me and what I’m saying?

            Because that literally was my entire point: Absolutely no one seems to care about how generations of conservative business owners discriminated not just in ways we have decided should be illegal, but also based off of beliefs and a general sense of where potential employees were politically.

            And thus any discussion of ‘cancel culture’ is pure gibberish that is only being talked about because conservative white men are not used to that being directed against them…in a manner that the entire Western population that is _not_ conservative white men has had to live with forever.

            And at this point I could get into how ‘professional’ business attire is classist, and how Black people are subject to a hell of a lot of bigotry for their hair. But I’ll just leave this with: The entire struture of the entire business world is based around the whims of wealthy conservative white men and essentially every single person with a job is forced to dance to their tune or get fired.

            Them complaining about one of them getting fired for not dancing to the right tune is hilariously stupid.

            My problems with cancel culture are more with the pressure on companies to comply, and the “permanent record” attitude is has.

            I suspect you don’t have much problem with pressuring companies in any other context. Weird you have one here.

            The way the mobs go after trivial things is also worth mentioning.

            …as opposed to _serious_ moral failings like…uh…long hair?Report

            • Pinky in reply to DavidTC
              Ignored
              says:

              “I suspect you don’t have much problem with pressuring companies in any other context. Weird you have one here.”

              I thought you wanted to ask a conservative about “no hippies”. If you’ve already assumed what they’re going to say, not much point in asking. I note that you’ve already called my position surreal, so yeah, fine. I’m sure you understand conservative thought well even though you’re surprised by it.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, do you actually have a problem with customers pressuring a company that, for example, behaves in unethical but legal.

                Maybe you should list what reasons you do and don’t find it acceptable to pressure a company to do something.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            I don’t have much of a problem with companies hiring by belief system.

            It can be done, but it’s mostly been religious organizations that have done it and it causes problems when they need to hire “lay” people.

            Most organizations are not, at their root, systems which care about beliefs. When we start caring about belief we’re into thought crimes and exclusion from our tribe.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to DavidTC
      Ignored
      says:

      “Employers have always, _always_, been able to fire and not hire workers they do not agree with the views of.”

      Mmm-hmm, and ever since Title VII passed, those workers could claim it was discriminatory action and sue you.Report

      • CJColucci in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        Maybe you should consult someone for whom Title VII is a major part of his or her work. Like, say, me. Title VII does not protect anyone from being fired for their views. It just doesn’t. Read the damn thing.
        Now, you might be able to cobble together a theory that the employer fires only, say, black people, or women, or Jews who express political opinions the boss doesn’t like while letting whites, males, or Christians express the same opinions without consequence. And in theory it would work. But good luck trying.Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to CJColucci
          Ignored
          says:

          “Title VII does not protect anyone from being fired for their views.”

          Are you willing to go to a trial to prove that you didn’t fire me for being gay?

          Oh, you have tons of documentation that I’m a stupid piece of ratshit? Hey, that’s great, you know why you need to gather and maintain all that documentation? It’s so that when I file a lawsuit you have a way to defend yourself.

          Sure, you can fire me for whatever reason you want, but if you can’t prove it wasn’t a discriminatory act then I can nail you to the wall over it. “But it wasn’t discriminatory, I said why I fired you!” uh-huh, we all know the real reason, and we all know why you aren’t willing to say it out loud.Report

          • CJColucci in reply to DensityDuck
            Ignored
            says:

            Are you willing to go to a trial to prove that you didn’t fire me for being gay?

            Willing? Hell, I’ve done it. And won. And, incidentally, it’s the person who says he or she was discriminated against who has to prove he or she was, not the person who says he or she didn’t discriminate.

            But to get back to the original point, if you’re claiming discrimination based on your views, you’ll never get to trial at all.Report

      • Philip H in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        You don’t live in a Right to Work State, do you?Report

  8. Jesse
    Ignored
    says:

    Again, if you actually feel worried for normal people being canceled for their job, support the end of at-will employment. Now, that’s not going to help Bari Weiss from getting dunked on in her Slack or older professors from having to deal w/ younger students having different social mores than they do, and wanting to impose those social mores.

    In the early 90’s, a bunch of people were really worried about political correctness on campus. Much of what was worried about then and considered the end of free speech is now just common courtesy, even among normal center-right people in the suburbs.

    In 2050, there will be a bunch of centrist trans and non-binary writers at the NYT (or whatever the equivalent of the NYT is in 2050) writing the same article about whatever weird things that the kids of that era are into.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Jesse
      Ignored
      says:

      Pretty much this. We are witnessing people who were in their 20s-40s in the 1990s and freaking out about PC still freak out by cancel culture.Report

      • Jesse in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s kinda funny and kinda sad at the same time seeing some centrist gay and lesbian people online making the same arguments against trans kids that conservatives made against gay and lesbian kids a generation or two earlier.

        The inclination to pull the ladder up exists for all groups.Report

  9. Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    I don’t see any evidence that “cancel culture” exists in a way that regular people should be concerned.

    And to the extent it does exist, oh well.Report

  10. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    This feels a lot like the arguments over whether crime has gone up or down over the last two years.

    “Sure, *MURDER* has gone up, but *CRIME* has gone down!”

    I will start looking for “nobody was arguing that cancel culture didn’t exist, just that it wasn’t yet as bad as people were saying. A correction in response to the recent overcorrections would be a good thing and nobody disagrees with that.”Report

    • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Sure beats looking into what’s actually so.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
        Ignored
        says:

        A theory about what is actually so:

        He even helpfully added something measurable:

        Not a fan of saying “over the next few years” as a marker. Too many weasel words with “mass” in there too. If 5 people get let go, is that a “mass layoff”?

        That said, there’s an election in November and it’s arguably the most important election of our lifetimes. NYT editorial board has said something about “cancel culture” not only existing but it being bad. I’m wondering if that particular attitude will spread. (One measure for that is that the whole “it doesn’t exist and, anyway, it’s good” argument sort of evaporates.)Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          there’s an election in November and it’s arguably the most important election of our lifetimes.

          I think when Trump runs again it will be important that he loses resoundingly. Not sure why 2022 has any claim to fame.Report

        • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Matt got it right in the first sentence. Or do you disagree?Report

          • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
            Ignored
            says:

            I took his first sentence as a sentence intended to be read with the second and third and fourth and fifth and sixth and seventh and eighth and ninth.

            Like it’s part of the whole theory of “what is actually so”.Report

            • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              The first sentence states a purportedly factual proposition. Its truth or falsity may bear on the soundness of what follows, but, as a factual proposition, it stands on its own. Do you agree with the factual proposition or not?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                It certainly states a purportedly factual proposition but not a particularly measurable one.

                There’s also the whole problem of the sweeping generalization of the term “nothing to do”. It’s certainly got *SOMETHING* to do with it.

                And something is, by definition, not nothing. So then I take this factually false statement of his and then see where he’s going with it.

                Oh. He’s using the sweeping statement in the service of making an argument for what is actually so.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So the short version is: the statement is factually false? And the reason is “It’s certainly got *SOMETHING* to do with it.”? And it “certainly” has something to do with it because, well, because you say so?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                We appear to be stuck on the horns of a dilemma.

                If the statement is measurable, we will be able to say whether the NYT editorial “America Has a Free Speech Problem” has anything, ANYTHING AT ALL, to do with free expression.

                If it is not measurable, we won’t.

                So the first question is “is this sort of thing measurable?”

                If we agree that it is, we might want to hammer out how we would measure whether the “America Has a Free Speech Problem” editorial has anything, anything at all, to do with free expression.

                Then we could measure that.

                *OR* we could say “his first statement is part and parcel with the statements in the thread and ‘has nothing to do with’ is, instead, colloquial English being used in service to the broader point he’s making.”

                (That’s my pick, for the record.)

                So my first question for you is: Is whether the NYT editorial “America Has a Free Speech Problem” has anything, ANYTHING AT ALL, to do with free expression something that is measurable?

                And, if so, how would you propose we measure?Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Ask Matt. He’s the one who said it. Your agreement or disagreement — as opposed to your unwillingness to say what you think — is with him.
                As for what I think, if anyone cares, I have already addressed that. The Times made a statement, in the first sentence of its editorial, that was plainly false, that there is “a fundamental right as citizens of a free country: the right to speak their minds and voice their opinions in public without fear of being shamed or shunned.”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, I’m not going to ask him that.

                Because I believe that he was using colloquial English in service to a broader point, a point established in the second and third and fourth and fifth and sixth and seventh and eighth and ninth sentences.

                If you insist on only reading the first sentence and waving away the rest of the stuff, you might find yourself not, in fact, looking into what’s actually so but only fooling yourself into having done so.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, it’s colloquial English, which I understood well enough to agree or disagree with, and I agreed with it. I also expressed the basis for my agreement even before you brought Stoller into this, which you are free to address. If you don’t understand Stoller, or think I don’t, you can go to the source. If you don’t agree with the basis for my agreement with Stoller, you can say so.
                As for my reading habits, I read the whole thing. I agreed with the first sentence, disagreed with the second, and haven’t addressed the rest because it doesn’t interest me.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                I agreed with the first sentence, disagreed with the second, and haven’t addressed the rest because it doesn’t interest me.

                Oh, well, for what it’s worth, I think that the rest that doesn’t interest you is an accurate enough description (making allowances for perspectives and whatnot) of what is actually so.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                “Ask Matt. He’s the one who said it.”

                you certainly seem to have a strongly-held opinion that Jaybird is incorrectly interpreting this thing that you also say we can’t have any opinions about without asking Matt Stoller first.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Reading comprehension again, DD? I’m not the one who said you can’t have opinions without asking Stoller first. I read Stoller and expressed my opinion, based on my understanding of a reasonably clear, idiomatic English sentence that Stoller wrote. Jaybird was the one who wouldn’t express an opinion on it and pretended he didn’t understand Stoller. That’s when I suggested he go to the source.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                I wasn’t pretending that I didn’t understand him.

                I was agreeing with him (mostly).

                You were the one saying that you read his first sentence and agreed with it, disagreed with the second, and didn’t care about the sentences that followed the second one.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So you weren’t pretending; you didn’t actually understand him?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Either I understood him and think I understand him
                OR
                I failed to understand him but mistakenly think I understand him
                OR
                I know that I misunderstand him but am lying about my misunderstanding him

                But I do know that I read all of his sentences before fixating on the first one and demanding we read no further.

                OR

                I pretended toReport

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                DD’s reading comprehension disease seems to be spreading.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, then I’ll make my misunderstanding explicit:

                To the extent that I read and understood what Matt Stoller said, I (mostly) agree with all of his sentences except the eighth (which I found unnecessarily divisive) and I’m not sure that I agree with the ninth (but am pleased that it is, at least, in the neighborhood of measurable once you hammer down the weasel wording).Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Matt Stoller represents the consensus of the conservative elite. He is basically saying ‘we noticed the flaming turd of an editorial isn’t being accepted by anyone not wearing a MAGA hat, so we need to zoom up to meta level and pretend this is some high level abstraction about um. elites, that’s right, elites who are fighting with….um, some other people. And there will be layoffs because I hate the NYT and have fantasies about them going bankrupt.”Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            If you do a websearch of Matt Stoller, this is what the google brings up: Openleft.

            OpenLeft was a political blog founded July 9, 2007 by Matt Stoller, Chris Bowers, originally of MyDD, and Mike Lux, a former official in the White House under President Bill Clinton. Covering political and social issues from a progressive standpoint, it spearheaded a number of causes, including focusing attention and criticism on the Blue Dog Democrats and supporting net neutrality. The website’s campaign garnered criticism from a number of Democrats, including Brian Baird.

            The conservative elite, you say?

            I’m beginning to suspect that you use “conservative” differently than I do.Report

          • CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            The whole thing goes off the rails in the second sentence, attributing, redundantly, “all entire cancel culture discourse” to an internal squabble among specifically liberal media elites. Matt must not watch Fox News or read the Wall Street Journal or the conservative magazines, or have a Twitter feed. Or he uses “liberal:” differently than most of us do.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
              Ignored
              says:

              He very well might.

              He certainly seems to make a distinction between “liberal” and “Democrat”.

              That’s the kickoff to a *LONG* thread, mind. Like, you won’t want to just read the first sentence and say “okay, I’ve got the gist”.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Look over there!

                Since you’ve read it, maybe you can explain why he seems to think the kerfuffle over cancel culture is an intramural dispute among specifically liberal media elites.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Over here, I’m arguing against Chip’s assertion that, let me copy and paste this, “Matt Stoller represents the consensus of the conservative elite.”

                That strikes me as something that, if it’s measurable, can be measured by stuff like the fact that he started the Openleft website and wrote stuff like the above as well as the policies he fought for.

                Of course, that needs to be weighed against “he disagrees with the blob”. (Some people give that a lot more weight than others, of course.)Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Is the question what Stoller said or what Stoller is? Presumably you brought him in for what he said, which could very well represent the consensus of the conservative elite even if he is not, himself, a conservative.
                For what it’s worth, though, Stoller probably doesn’t represent the consensus of the conservative elite, because the conservative elite knows its own importance in the cancel culture kerfuffle and, therefore, knows better than to identify it as an intramural squabble among liberal media elites.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, can anyone ever have a true grasp of the “ding an sich” of another person?

                As it is, we’re just stuck with looking at whether the claim “so-and-so represents the consensus of the conservative elite” is a statement about so-and-so or whether it is a statement about the person making the statement about so-and-so.

                For what it’s worth, I think that it’s representative of a Manichean world view that says “I am good and people who agree with me are also good and people who do not agree with me are bad”.

                Only with words swapped out.

                And if you wanted to really, really condemn someone else? You’d call them not only conservative, but *REPRESENTATIVE of the conservative elite.

                Not just bad, but representative of badness.

                “Here’s the personal history of the guy.”
                “HEY LOOK OVER THERE”

                I mean, good god, we have reached the point where we have to do biographies of damn near everything before we can look at their statements.

                Only if they are demonstrably Team Good can we move on to any substantive points they may have made.

                And if you don’t want to even address the substantive points?

                Hey. This guy is a conservative.
                Q.
                E.
                D.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve never heard of Matt Stoller until just now, and am only judging him strictly by what you posted.

                He’s reciting the talking points of the conservative elite that you find on Fox News, so yeah, Matt Stoller represents the conservative elite.

                But mostly I was noticing, as you might, the shifting narrative to “Of course nobody is arguing we have a free speech problem, the real argument is about the NYT and their upcoming layoffs!”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve never heard of Matt Stoller until just now, and am only judging him strictly by what you posted.

                Yeah.

                He’s reciting the talking points of the conservative elite that you find on Fox News, so yeah, Matt Stoller represents the conservative elite.

                Hrm.

                But mostly I was noticing, as you might, the shifting narrative to “Of course nobody is arguing we have a free speech problem, the real argument is about the NYT and their upcoming layoffs!”

                From where I sat, the real argument was found in the sentence: “They are basically saying ‘we noticed the Virginia elections, the bureaucratic political project of the Democrats needs to change.'”

                Personally, I think he’s onto something.

                But I knew who he was before today.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Which is the shifting narrative I’m noticing.

                The original editorial and its claims are completely abandoned in a furious search for some other point.

                “Nobody is arguing there is a free speech problem!”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I thought that his claim was that the editorial was pedestrian and boring, not that nobody was making it.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m talking about how you pivoted from the original editorial claims about cancel culture, to suddenly dropping in a tweet about how it is actually about something else and lets-not-talk-about-the-original-editorial-please.

                I don’t blame you- I wouldn’t want to defend the flaming turd either.

                But its noticeable.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip, the original editorial was also arguing that there was a free speech problem.

                My argument was that this will pivot to “nobody was arguing that cancel culture didn’t exist, just that it wasn’t yet as bad as people were saying. A correction in response to the recent overcorrections would be a good thing and nobody disagrees with that.”

                Which is, like, very much *NOT* “Nobody is arguing there is a free speech problem!”Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah but he calls himself left so JB gets to nutpick and “even the leftist Matt Stoller.”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                I would put his actions in a different category than “calling himself”.

                Like, there’s a wikipedia page and everything.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You can, at least in theory, have a grasp of what you yourself, are doing. (Not that self-awareness is all that widespread, but it’s common enough to be the working assumption.) You brought Stoller in. Did you bring him in for what he said or what he is? When Chip said that what Stoller said represents the consensus of the conservative elite, did you say that it was not what the conservative elite believes? After all, Chip could be wrong about that. No. You didn’t. You brought in Stoller’s biography. And you’re the one complaining that “we have to do biographies of damn near everything before we can look at their statements.” “We” don’t have to; you did.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                I brought him in because I thought that his take on the editorial was representative of what was actually so.

                The editorial itself? Meh.
                The fact that it was made by the editorial board of the New York Times? My goodness, that’s interesting.

                It represents a shift.

                I think that the shift is interesting. I think that his take on the shift is accurate (or accurate enough, given perspectives and whatnot).

                And you’ll notice that bringing him up for his take on the editorial resulted in, among other things, assumptions that he must be conservative.

                And I’ll just come here for this part:

                Chip said that what Stoller said represents the consensus of the conservative elite

                And compare to a copy and paste of what Chip actually said:

                Matt Stoller represents the consensus of the conservative elite.

                And my take on how Matt Stoller represents the consensus of the conservative elite is, in my opinion, bunk.

                (But, I admit, I was familiar with Matt Stoller prior to today.)Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Said v. is. Simple concept.Report

          • Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            This is the same basic theme as the Harper’s letter. Do you see a lot of MAGA hats on that list?

            Agree or disagree, the idea that this is just, or even primarily, a Trump talking point is ridiculous.Report

        • North in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          I mean it’s a tweet so the immediate assumption has to be it’s flaming garbage by default. It’s amusingly both left wing and right wing. It’s right wing in the deranged assumption that “liberal elites” have any form of organization or consensus. And it’s sweetly liberal in that stupid far left kind of way in assuming that any form of consensus or centralized decision making is possible among liberals by and large. If Stoller identifies as very left liberal than that’d make sense since left liberals often loop around and adopt conservative notions while they scramble away from the great mass of liberals to the right of them.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to North
            Ignored
            says:

            Fair enough. I tend to agree with your observations on consensus/centralization.

            That said, I did see the editorial as an interesting signal in and of itself… for reasons that are similar to what Stoller sees. LIke, I think they’re iterating the game a few times and gaming out where stuff leads and trying to nudge back into a position where the games start having better outcomes after a few iterations.

            Chesa’s recall election is June 7th. Goodness knows, there may be another flag that may or may not be red showing up before that. (Red: The color of the states that voted for Bush in 2000!)Report

            • North in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Sure. To the degree the editorial is saying “ya know, identarian/cultural left wing overreach is destructive and should be reigned in” it’s probably a tolerably good idea. Though again, the idea that liberals march to the drumbeat of the NYT is so dumb I have trouble typing it out without snickering.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                Without getting into distinctions between liberals, progressives, democrats, etc, I’d say that you’re right.

                HOWEVER.

                You know the whole thing where you say “I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT JOE SCHMOE WROTE THIS BULLSHIT ARTICLE!” and someone points out that the article is nuanced and it’s really only the headline and the summary that is clickbaity and dishonest and Joe Schmoe cannot be assumed to write the headline?

                Well, the NYT editorial board is the group of people who write the headlines and the summaries for the stories that they give the greenlight to.

                While the NYT does not pick how people necessarily will start dancing, it does have some say into what the tune is going to be.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                *shrugs* I’m on the record as saying that basically the entire legacy media (and a lot of the academy) should just have their crisis already, implode and burn so we can actually get the fish on to figuring out what model actually works in the real world as it exists now. If ya look at the nonsense that oozes out of the far left or the interlocking clusterfish of posturing elite/social media virtue signalling an astonishing amount of it originates from a simple premise:
                The pie of media sinecures/academy positions is stagnant or shrinking, the existing players won’t retire or leave and individuals are desperately trying to invent reasons why they should be assigned greater scraps of the pie.Report

  11. dhex
    Ignored
    says:

    despite being a general zealot on this front i have no idea why they formulated it this way, which seemed mostly tailored to garner outrage clicks (which any treatment of this topic would do regardless; just read this thread) rather than make a broader argument that’s less tagged into the partisan zombie hordes. there are so many better ways to make (a much better version of) this argument, whether you think the diagnosis is social media, bad white people, shitty upper middle class attendees of all colors at elite colleges, a general loss of any sense of proportion, or some combination thereof and beyond.

    one possibility just considered is that their subscriber base, shifting due the loss of the trump bump but gaining more subs generally, is becoming more normalized (har har) to “normie” positions. since they no longer need to cater quite as hard to the twitter-haunted world of ever-shifting loyalty tests and buzzwords, etc etc.

    as a 1a zealot in particular and a free expression zealot more generally, twitter is terrible for my blood pressure. so many fires in so many crowded theaters*, violating hippppaaaa and the fairness doctrine and all other penumbras and beloved falsehoods in between. it’s not the audience i would try to play for, but clicks are dollars and so even the performance theatre of idiots become something of value.

    * so, so, so, so, so many – it is easily the most popular and committed-to-the-bit falsity repeated on twitter in this particular area.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to dhex
      Ignored
      says:

      i have no idea why they formulated it this way

      My guess: It’s a signal that things are going to be changing and changing quickly. Like, “before the end of the summer” quickly.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Oh, and one point that was bugging me as I was picking up some ingredients at the store:

        I do not know that the attempt to install changes will work. They could fail spectacularly. (You see already how much pushback they have!)

        But I think that they formulated it that way as an intended signal.Report

      • dhex in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        but in the context of a massive media org: why communicate internal changes via an unsigned eddy?

        maybe they have a lot of yalies alum from the law school in their subscriber base or something?

        given the elite turn on this general and the massive amount of absolutely sickening legislative moves (much of which either abuts or cuts through general notions of free expression, debate, discussion, civil society, etc) it’s possible the general cultural moment which creates much of the expression/speech freedoms i care about is fully gone.

        conservatives were never for it particularly anyway, outside of the principled few filing amicus or writing op-eds; today you can find plenty of american-born blue checks who don’t understand why the government can’t remove fox news from the air for “disinformation” or “propaganda”, or how penalizing teachers for xyz lessons (crt or whatever) is just a government employee/employer situation and of no further concern.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to dhex
          Ignored
          says:

          I think that much of that was internal changes being communicated but also a signal to, say, the people who were surprised not only by the number of Republicans voting in Virginia but the shocking number of San Francisco republicans who showed up for the San Francisco School Board Recall and who seem to show every intention of showing up to recall Chesa Boudin.

          “Guys, guys. Cool it down!”, they’re saying.

          That’s my theory.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Adjacent:

            I think that this is a case where the people who are capable of comprehending 2nd order effects are yelling at the people who can only comprehend 1st order effects.Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Wonderful read. It’s the whole “inequality” thing.

              You can’t make the lowest rung more educated but you can reduce the advantage of a really good education by dumbing it down.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Most parents are happy with their children’s school.

              https://news.gallup.com/poll/354089/majority-parents-satisfied-child-education.aspx

              So, thanks for the advice but we’ll take it from here.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Happy, yes. Willing to sacrifice their education/advantages in the name of equality, no.

                Wanting to elevate your kids is pretty core. Parts of Team Blue realizes, correctly, that equality means preventing that.

                The logic is clear and stark.

                I view Team Blue’s obsession with equality as a real problem.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                So, thanks for the advice but we’ll take it from here.

                Okay. This is what I’m going to want to google in November. Putting this here to help me remember where I put it.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Youve been posting this same comment every week, since as long as I’ve been coming here.

                Sometimes Democrats lose, sometimes we win.

                But no matter what, you routinely issue there dark warnings about how we are doomed.

                And it’s entirely possible, even likely that we will lose in November.

                But like all such pundits you have no evidence to present for success, other than “adopt my policy preferences”.

                Even the much- hyped Conventional Wisdom of the Virginia election may very well be based on such a Fallacy.

                https://insights.targetsmart.com/did-education-sway-the-va-election-maybe-but-probably-not.htmlReport

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                First off, I was one of those “Does Biden win MI, WI, and PA? Yes. Therefore he wins the 2020 election” people.

                Second off, I don’t know that Democrats will lose come November.

                A lot of stuff could happen! BA.2 could rampage through the country, we could have a world war, we could have lots of stuff happen that would make the democrats look better than Republicans to the median voter.

                The election is 8 months away! That’s an eternity!

                That said, if “education” is at the top of the list of reasons that the various swing voters swing the wrong way come November, that’s something that Cassandra wrote about all the way back 8 months previous.

                But like all such pundits you have no evidence to present for success, other than “adopt my policy preferences”.

                While I do think that legalizing pot would result in Biden picking up votes, I also know that it might result in people forgetting to vote that day so I’m not sure that my policy preferences will necessarily result in victory.

                In recent elections, I’ve wandered away from “you should do this good thing that I like” to “Holy crap, you need to not do this bad thing that is screwing everything up, jeez louise”.

                While I appreciate that you seem to be noticing that you might not win come November (it’s measurable, after all), one of the things I hope to accomplish is acknowledgment of mistakes that could, in theory, not be made henceforth.

                The thing that the NYT editorial was about is one. I think it’s more important than what Chait is writing about but Chait is writing about another that might be bad enough to argue that it shouldn’t be done anymore as well.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I haven’t looked at the research since the 90s, but back then most people were satisfied with their schools, too. And aside from what people thought about them, most of them were at least pretty good, many were superb, and the averages got dragged down by the truly execrable schools in many poor neighborhoods. Sadly, we didn’t have a good handle on how to improve them then and we largely don’t now.Report

  12. Dark Matter
    Ignored
    says:

    What the liberation Reason thought about both the NYT piece and the underlying Yale Law School anti-speech protests that created it. I thought the video at the bottom was informative, it went into detail on the Yale thing.

    https://reason.com/2022/03/18/new-york-times-america-free-speech-problem/Report

  13. Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    https://birdsarentreal.com/

    “ The Birds Aren’t Real movement exists to spread awareness that the U.S. Government genocided over 12 Billion birds from 1959-2001, and replaced these birds with surveillance drone replicas, which still watch us every day.”Report

  14. Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/20/politics/desantis-disney-florida-lgbtq-dont-say-gay-bill/index.html

    “ Months before Disney CEO Bob Chapek tiptoed into a roiling debate in Florida and before the legislation that opponents would call the “Don’t Say Gay” bill was even filed, Gov. Ron DeSantis delivered a threat to business leaders who got in his way.

    “If you are in one of these corporations, if you’re a woke CEO, you want to get involved in our legislative business, look, it’s a free country,” the Florida Republican said last June. “But understand, if you do that, I’m fighting back against you. And I’m going to make sure that people understand your business practices, and anything I don’t like about what you’re doing.”
    DeSantis this month made clear he wasn’t bluffing. A day after Chapek publicly condemned a controversial Florida bill that would ban classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity before fourth grade, DeSantis ripped Disney to a room of supporters. He called Disney a “woke corporation” and criticized its business interests in China. Fox obtained and posted a video from the private event, and DeSantis and his staff helped spread it on social media.”
    -AND-
    “ After “Saturday Night Live” poked fun at the bill, the governor’s spokeswoman tweeted that anyone who opposed the measure was “probably a groomer,” a term used to describe a sexual predator who trains a victim to trust the predator.”

    Excited for all the anti-CC people to weigh in on deSantis aggressive shaming of Disney for an unpopular position.Report

  15. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Why am I not surprised that you posted this? This essay was rather pillored on the internet.

    What America has is a lot of middle aged white guys who are taken aback that National Lampoon and Animal House and whatever else ticked their funny bones under Reagan and Rush is no longer considered funny and they get challenged on it.Report

    • Jesse in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      To be fair, there are also middle aged black and Hispanic folks, along with middle aged gen X feminists, who are taken aback that a generation after them in those groups aren’t willing to take the same amount of BS those previous generations did – thus, the tendency among some Gen X / late Millenial feminists online to treat newer feminists as “weak” or “fragile” for just wanting a society where the guy knows not to be an ass in the first place as opposed to the Gen X idea that you slap the guy/make fun of him, etc.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      Seriously, Jaybird, how could you overlook the fact that this was criticized on Twitter?

      I have some quibbles with the content of the editorial. I’m not going to point to this and say, “This is exactly what I believe,” for a number of reasons, some of which are clumsily gestured towards in this thread.

      As Jaybird says, the editorial is lukewarm, but the fact that the New York Times editorial board produced and ran it is pretty darn spicy, in light of the circumstances under which they dumped Bennett and McNeil not so long ago. It looks like maybe the tide is turning against the cluster-B crusaders in their ranks. Maybe not. But maybe.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Brandon Berg
        Ignored
        says:

        Is there any set of circumstances under which a media platform of any kind could can people like Bennet or McNeil that you wouldn’t regard as cancelling them?Report

        • Brandon Berg in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          I have no particular affection for Bennet or McNeil. Nothing against them, either. I know very little about them outside of the kerfuffles that culminated in their getting the boot. Nor am I particularly attached to “cancellation” as a term for describing what happened to them.

          I’m not at all concerned with the fact that “people like Bennet or McNeil” were fired. Who they are is not the issue. The issue is the apparent reasons why they were fired, which I believe reflects badly on the NYT, and very, very badly on the staffers whose performative fragility appears to have driven this.

          I’m not privy to what went on behind the scenes. In theory there may have been totally legitimate reasons for firing them that had nothing to do with the mass temper tantrums that immediately preceded their departures. Given the timing, I would be disinclined to believe such an explanation barring stronger evidence than I expect anyone here to be able to provide, but I acknowledge that it’s theoretically possible.

          That said, my personal feelings on the issue are beside the point here. I’m just saying that this is not an editorial I would expect from a paper that made those decisions in the past two years, and that combined with, e.g., the recent hiring of John McWhorter, this seems to me to hint at a change in direction.

          Then again, maybe not. We’ll see.Report

          • CJColucci in reply to Brandon Berg
            Ignored
            says:

            The issue is the apparent reasons why they were fired

            I would have though the issue is the real reasons they were fired, but maybe that’s just me.Report

            • Brandon Berg in reply to CJColucci
              Ignored
              says:

              “Apparent reason” = What appears to be the reason given all the publicly available evidence of which I’m aware. I can’t know exactly what was going on in the heads of the people involved. If you know for a fact that the real reasons were different, then let’s see the receipts. If not, this is a pretty sad gotcha attempt.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                One of the many, many great fallacies of our day is we no longer believe what people tell us is the reason they are doing a thing. Even when that reason aligns with the thing being done, and even when its consistent with prior actions.Report

  16. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Today is the day! We find out whether the pushback is stronger than the push!

    The New York Times morning email makes the following mention:

    Free speech is under threat in the U.S., from both the left and the right, The Times editorial board argues. A new poll offers details.

    And that’s it.Report

  17. Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    Free speech is a talisman to ward off certain criticisms; the interesting line is depluralization, which I think is more on point. If you think about it that way, the issue with the modern communication network is that it is so massively centralizing that if you don’t build ‘pluralism’ into your centralization then you are building a winner-take-all system. Which, is probably closer to the arguments I’m seeing in favor of it… they are ‘we have to win else *they* will win’.

    And, any way you slice that phenomenon, it’s a matter of who will dominate whom and essentially a post-liberal position on both the left and the right.

    p.s. Matt Stoller is the Lefty guy focused on anti-monopolization. Weird to categorize him as ‘rightist’ — but then, if he’s not for you, he’s aginst…Report

  18. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    The failure of the editorial, as with nearly all articles panicking about speech, is that they always reside at the abstract level.
    They can never be formulated into a concrete set of suggestions for how to fix the “problem”.

    In this case, the article states that no one should be shamed or shunned for their speech.

    Really? The NYT itself has a very strict set of banned words, forbidden ideas that can not be published in it. Here at OT, there are moderators who will ban anyone who violates the norms of our conversations.

    Taken at face value, the prohibition on shaming and shunning is itself a call for naked censorship and suppression.

    As I’ve mentioned several times before, everyone, without exception, has a set of limits on speech which they favor. Whenever someone makes a call for unlimited speech, what it inevitably means is a set of boundaries which are obscured and hidden.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      I think the example on the table is “Yale law school students shouting down and threatening physical violence to prevent speakers they don’t like”.

      The judge reviewing this suggested their names be noted so they can’t get clerkships and be put in the pipeline to become judges.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
        Ignored
        says:

        A good example.
        “Free speech” is always bandied about like something wonderful and pleasant, but it shouldn’t.

        Actually its messy and most often ugly and divisive, more like a punk mosh pit than ballroom waltz.

        And ironically, without restrictions and boundaries of speech, it becomes censorship of drowning out softer voices.Report

      • CJColucci in reply to Dark Matter
        Ignored
        says:

        If the students are identified, they should be disciplined. What further consequences follow from their folly is for others to decide.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Eh, it feels like there’s some sleight of hand going on.

      “I have an opinion on culture, race, and/or gender”
      “We’re going to punish you for saying that out loud.”
      “I should be able to say that out loud without censure.”
      “We agree that free speech shouldn’t be absolute, right? Then we’re haggling. Therefore you should be punished.”
      “I don’t agree that I should be punished.”
      “You’re just upset that Chip can get away with using racial slurs but you can’t.”Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        “And if you got censured, well, you must have deserved it! If you hadn’t done anything wrong then nothing bad would’ve happened to you!”Report

      • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        There are multiple issues and multiple levels of “badness” here.

        With the Yale law students, they’re not “punishing someone for saying it” they’re preventing someone from speaking and threatening physical violence. The subject was on things they probably agreed with the speaker.

        You and your type don’t get to talk if I can prevent it.

        Now there is also “punishing someone by putting pressure on their employer to fire them for things they didn’t do and don’t believe”.

        And there is also “punishing someone for having a scholarly discussion about X by taking what happened out of context.” X is so bad that no one can talk about it (unless they’re black).

        No matter where you want to draw lines on the boundaries of acceptable speech, all of these actions seem really far over the line.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        “I should be allowed to say that without censure.”

        “I should be allowed to censure you without fear of censure.”Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          “When you disagree with me that’s an example of censure. When I disagree with you that’s merely an example of someone disagreeing.”

          “You just want to use slurs.”Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            This is the corner you (and the NYT) have painted yourself into.

            Censure is speech.
            Shunning is freedom of association.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              What is a threat of physical violence if not speech?

              Check and mate.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So are perjury, fraud, criminal solicitation, lying to government investigators, and any number of other things that can be prevented or punished, even though they are speech.
                Look at the chessboard more carefully.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                So everybody agrees that some speech can be prohibited.

                So we’re just haggling.

                And now the burden of proof is successfully shifted.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Of course, everybody does agree that some speech can be prohibited. So who bears the burden of proof on whether threats of physical violence are speech that can be prohibited, and do you really think that whoever bears the burden hasn’t met it? Or do you think there is a serious argument that it isn’t?
                That’s your example, please address it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, if I had a starting place, it’d be that Even The New York Times Editorial Board has noticed a strain of censoriousness amongst not only the right but the left and this censoriousness has wandered away from merely shaming and shunning people who give waaaaaay way out there opinions and way out there opinions but has moved on to even out there opinions with occasional forays into merely there opinions.

                And, like, the New York Times is saying, paraphrased, “that ain’t cool”.

                And the response is something to the effect of “They called us censorious? THEY SHOULD BE SHAMED AND SHUNNED!”

                And that turned into a discussion of freedom of speech maximalism versus haggling as it always does rather than noticing the trendlines and how they have resulted in, among other things, shouting down invited speakers to Yale.

                I mean, sure, nobody disagrees that the students should be sanctioned for engaging in a hecklers’ veto of an invited speaker and effectively stifling another’s speech. The question then becomes “is telling a heckler to shut up then violating their free speech? OH HOW THE TABLES HAVE TURNED, FREE SPEECH MAXIMALISTS!!!!”

                And so we’re discussing whether it’s hypocritical to shout down shout downers. Again.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Noticing the trend lines is precisely what I’ve done by pointing out that restricting speech is nothing new, but the speech subject to it is.

                That’s the trend line.

                And of course the restrictions are being haggle and negotiated, they always have and always should be.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Let me repeat the actual question: So who bears the burden of proof on whether threats of physical violence are speech that can be prohibited, and do you really think that whoever bears the burden hasn’t met it? Or do you think there is a serious argument that it isn’t?
                If you want to talk about something else, I can understand why. But this was your example, not mine.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                So who bears the burden of proof on whether threats of physical violence are speech that can be prohibited, and do you really think that whoever bears the burden hasn’t met it?

                I would honestly think that the burden of proof would be on the person defending the threats.

                And, get this, pointing out that nobody agrees with Freedom of Speech Maximalization *DOES NOT SHIFT IT*.

                But that’s not usually agreed upon.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                OK, so you didn’t understand the question. Let’s review.
                1. You wrote:
                What is a threat of physical violence if not speech?

                Check and mate.
                2. I pointed out that threats, like all sorts of other things, are speech, but can be prohibited regardless.
                3. You came up with the “insight” that some speech can be prohibited and made some noises about the shifting burden of proof.
                4. I asked who you thought had the burden of proof on the question about whether threats of violence (not threat A or threat B, just threats of violence), whether you thought the burden had been carried, and whether you had any serious argument that threats of violence were a sort of speech that could not be prohibited.
                5. First response: nothing to do with the topic.
                6. Repeated the question.
                7. Response 2: The burden is on whoever is defending “the threats,” which sounds as if you thought the question was about particular threats, though none were mentioned and the question, on any reasonable reading, was about threats in general.
                8. So just to be clear: Are threats of violence, as a class, protected speech? Who bears the burden of proof on that question? Has it been carried?. Is there any serious argument that threats of violence, as a class, are protected speech?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Re: #1

                Oh, that was me making a joke.

                #2

                Yes, of course

                #3

                You’re ignoring the point.
                The point is that the conversations go something like this:
                “Those people shouldn’t shout down speech.”
                “Of course all speech shouldn’t be allowed!”
                (burden of proof is assumed to have been shifted)

                #4

                The person who has the burden of proof is the person defending the threats.

                And, yes, I don’t need to point to any particular threats. I am willing to have this be a blanket rule and I am more than happy to weigh the responses to shouldering the burden of proof.

                I put different weight on “but nobody thinks that all speech should be allowed, therefore shouting someone down is okay” than “protests and counter-protests have a long history and here’s how the speech that was shouted down is more like Skokie Nazi marches than how Dalton Trumbo was treated”.

                #8

                Depends on who makes them. The powerful and connected tend to be able to get away with more than the weak and unconnected. I imagine that the Supreme Court has said something once or twice and there’s no shortage of district courts that have made their own noises. Depends. In theory or in practice? In theory, no. In practice? We get back to the powerful/connected again.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe we should calculate all the time and pixels that would have been saved by saying “Oh that was me making a joke” in the first place.
                Not to mention the time and pixels that would have been saved if you had waited until you had something actually funny to post as a joke.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, yeah. I should just write one sentence and not bother with any after that.

                Fool me once, etc.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Indeed. It would save time and pixels and not lose much, if anything.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Certainly for the folks who come here to disagree with opening sentences without, you know, saying anything about the substantive points made by anything referenced.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                In English comp, we used to call them “topic sentences.” When they go wrong, things rarely go right afterward.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                For definitions of “going wrong” that include “this person is speaking colloquially rather than academically”, apparently.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Insert Princess Bride quotation here.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          I should be able to say that without the threat of physical violence.

          I should be able to talk in a formal setting where I’ve been invited to speak (i.e. without being shouted down because in the past I’ve disagreed with you).

          The expression of “disapproval”, i.e. censure, is not the same thing as threatening physical violence nor even shouting someone down.

          Those things are efforts to prevent speech, not disapprove of it.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s way too easy to report a comment while scrolling through on a phone. There should be some kind of confirmation dialog.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Taken at face value, the prohibition on shaming and shunning

      What prohibition on shaming and shunning?Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Brandon Berg
        Ignored
        says:

        Taken at face value, the statement that “people should be free to express thoughts without fear of shunning or shaming” logically suggests a prohibition on shunning or shaming.Report

        • Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          An interesting quirk of the authoritarian mind is that it has trouble seeing a distinction between “this is a bad thing” and “I want to ban this.”

          This leads to a lot of embarrassing gotcha attempts. “Oh, you say this is a bad thing? Well, I’ve got you now, you bastard! That must mean you want to legally prohibit it, so you’re the real authoritarian!”

          I think you and CJ are projecting.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Brandon Berg
            Ignored
            says:

            This is what I mean about the moral panic being expressed only in the most abstract way.

            That, there is alleged to be a big serious problem, but the only action which should be taken is…for everyone to agree with the speaker.

            The entire effort just vaporizes on first contact with any sort of interrogation.Report

            • CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              Forget it, Chip. It’s projection all the way down.Report

              • JS in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                This is very much the same complaints, by pretty much the same sort of privilaged speakers, as I saw screaming about sexual harassment lawsuits and complaints decades ago.

                “PC culture these days, you can’t even compliment a woman anymore” spoken by men who had gotten away with sexual assault and harassment for decades.

                The women they harassed always cared. It’s just the harassers, and their bosses, didn’t care what a woman had to say about it.

                As long as the power was lopsided — the harasser had no fear of consequences, as there was nothing the harassed could do but quit — goodness, wasn’t an issue was it?

                But the screaming and fit-throwing and complaints about the death of America when the harassed finally had the ability to voice their displeasure in a way that couldn’t be summarily ignored….

                “Cancel culture” is the screeching of people who have always been insulated from reaction to their words, angry and upset that suddenly people can and do react, in ways they can’t summarily ignore or simply never notice.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to JS
                Ignored
                says:

                The editorial board made noises about various polls it conducted instead of acknowledging that opponents to cancel culture just want to use slurs and sexually harass people.Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              That, there is alleged to be a big serious problem, but the only action which should be taken is…for everyone to agree with the speaker.

              I think if we just not threaten them with physical violence and not shout them down we’ll be making vast improvements.Report

      • CJColucci in reply to Brandon Berg
        Ignored
        says:

        There isn’t one, which is the point. But some folks here and at the NYT seem to feel differently.Report

  19. LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    Seconding my brother, Sam, and Chip on this. Social media increases the broadcast power of previously unheard voices so it is a lot easier for people offended to criticize something than it was in the past. I imagine that there were probably plenty of people that didn’t like Animal House for what we would call social justice reasons when it was released, they just were limited to discussing this among themselves rather than broadly stating it to the world. Plus like Chip says, this is just a metasized version of gossip that used to exist. I am not exactly thrilled by this and think that many of the critiques are using a hammer when something more subtle would do. A lot of the rhetoric does seem strangely totalizing but radicals always used totalizing rhetoric. The Internet just makes this harder to ignore.Report

  20. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Former Golden Boy Matt Taibbi has written a funny column for substack: “World’s Dullest Editorial Launches Panic“.

    This Times editorial is watered down almost the level of a public service announcement written for the Cartoon Network, or maybe a fortune cookie (“Free speech is a process, not a destination. Winning numbers 4, 9, 11, 32, 46…”). It made the Harper’s letter read like a bin Laden fatwa, but it’s somehow arousing a bigger panic.

    The conclusion is surprisingly temperate:

    There may be plenty of reasons to roll eyes at the Times piece, but the poll numbers in there speak to this exhaustion, with what Chatterton Williams calls the “consensus enforcers who feverishly insist there’s no problem, and the fact that you disagree is evidence that you should resign your position.” It was crazy enough when jobs were lost over the Harper’s letter. But calling for firings over this? An editorial that drives two miles an hour down the middle of the middle of the middle of the road? If this is anybody’s idea of a taboo, we really have lost it.

    Report

    • InMD in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Taibbi is of course right. The corners of the overton window are always kind of fuzzy and disputed. Watching the insane reaction to something so obviously aimed at the dead center that still strayed noticeably towards the upper left makes it dead obvious that isn’t what we are dealing with.Report

      • Greg In Ak in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        The problem is that it was “dead center” which translates into a giant dollop of BSDI which is rightly, imho, recognized as terrible.Report

        • InMD in reply to Greg In Ak
          Ignored
          says:

          They do. They have different approaches but they do.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Greg In Ak
          Ignored
          says:

          Popehat’s complaint was that it wasn’t BSDI enough.

          He spent a lot of time talking about additional things that the Republicans screwed up. A *LOT*.Report

          • Greg In Ak in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Wait you arent’ suggesting R’s may be just a wee bit….just a tiny skoosh, doing anything naughty re: that free speech thing. Cause i know (fill in today’s Hat name) Hat thinks and i generally agree with him.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Greg In Ak
              Ignored
              says:

              The problem, Greg, is that if something is happening and it’s getting worse, sometimes there are multiple parties responsible for it getting worse.

              I don’t think that an article that points out that only Democrats are bad actors would be better than one that points out that both Democrats and Republicans are being illiberal in their own special way.

              For some reason, however, the essay that that only Democrats are bad is the essay that manages to avoid the dreaded BSDI criticism.

              And I don’t think that we’d be in a better place where we weren’t also acknowledging how badly the Republicans are screwing things up too.Report

              • Greg In Ak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Hey i agree. Multiple issues and parties. A lot of what we see and fret about is the normal background illiberal static that has always been there. Nothing new or original. No reason to freak out. Some of that is even normal conservative illiberal actions. Most of the individual case have some unique context or situation that doesn’t lend itself to easy generalizations.

                The many laws passed by R’s seem like the big new outlier here that is a lot more then just normal static.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Greg In Ak
                Ignored
                says:

                “It’s true that this is an issue, but it’s an issue that is only being done by the team that I am not on!”

                Well, best of luck with that. Maybe you’ll even get people on your team to agree with you.Report

    • CJColucci in reply to Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      Ken says exactly what I would have written if I had the time and space to go into the matter in that much detail. I endorse it without reservation.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      This is sheer nonsense from the jump. Americans don’t have, and have never had, any right to be free of shaming or shunning. The First Amendment protects our right to speak free of government interference. It does not protect us from other people saying mean things in response to our speech. The very notion is completely incoherent. Someone else shaming me is their free speech, and someone else shunning me is their free association, both protected by the First Amendment.

      Sounds eminently reasonable, and aligns with what I’ve said above grievances centering on people finally being held to account for their bad behavior.

      Doesn’t take him long to go off the rails however:

      I’m going to offer a working definition for the purposes of this essay: “cancel culture” is when speech is met with a response that, in my opinion, is very disproportionate.

      Really? Cause that’s not inviting the very cancellation he claims to deplore? He’s not inflicting HIS standards on other? Because HE doesn’t want to be disquieted by protest?

      Of course it gets better:

      We also err if we pretend that norms don’t have political resonance. Boycotts, loud denouncing protests, shunning, shaming, ridicule — these have been cited as cancel culture, but have often been tools of less powerful people against more powerful people.

      Normally I’d file that under “yes, and?” Except again above he says cancel culture is a DISPROPORTINATE response. Which these very things he alludes to are often labeled as, particularly by Conservatives.

      Sorry bro, but you can’t have that much looseness in your thinking while allegedly decrying the looseness in other’s thinking. Either these loud protests – including the Yale Law kids – Are the tools of the downtrodden and oppressed (and thus have support) or they are not and you oppose them as being disproportionate. Clearly he wants them to be both, which is ANOTHER tactic used by old white conservative men to appear toe supporting a thing they don’t really support for people whoa ren’t them.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      There are lots of issues going on here:

      1. There is the ever present issue of who speaks who whom and when? Above, there is a huge derailment where JB tries to use Matt Stoller to troll the liberals here. There seems to be a cottage industry of people willing to sign up as the “left” person that mainly exists for “Even the leftist XXX” trolling points from right-wingers. Examples here are the Stollers, Michael Tracey, Glenn Greenwald, and Bari Weiss.

      2. There is a kind of pundit fiction that fractious and divisive issues can all be debated with the dulcet tones of a tea party. This is an absolute lie. There are real stakes involved in these debates except among those that like to treat politics like a parlor game.Report

      • InMD in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        If you can’t debate contentious issues of public policy in a university or law school without a blow up and/or deplatforming where exactly can you?Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          If you can’t debate contentious issues of school policy at a school board meeting without threats of violence, where can you?

          Edited your comment to reflect what actually happened, instead of what didn’t.Report

        • Greg In Ak in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          This is where the debate goes off the rails it feels like. Uni’s and law schools have had over heated debates where sometimes people dont’ feel they can say things or risk getting fired forever.

          None of this is new at all. Most of this is standard people being people. Not always good people, but just people being themselves. Same old, same old. Not a new crisis fit for pumping up votes and donations.Report

          • InMD in reply to Greg In Ak
            Ignored
            says:

            I’m going to tell you something that might shock you. My law school somehow was able to secure a visit from justice Scalia in the time I happened to be attending. He was no more popular there then than he would be now, and to be clear I went to a regular public state school with a generally left of center student body and faculty. This was in the pre-woke era of course but ‘de-platforming’ had become, as they say, a thing, and I believe had already happened with various Bush II admin officials. The event went off without disruption and there was even a session where he took some live questions from students.

            Had someone thrown a public tantrum at the event I think it would rightly have been viewed as embarrassing and a disgrace. None of the faculty and administrative people involved in organizing had any sort of threats or were subject to demands to resign or anything similar. In short it is the way things should be done. I don’t understand why anyone would be defensive of conduct that falls short.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to Greg In Ak
            Ignored
            says:

            The issue I feel like is that a lot of posters view these issues as abstractions because face it, a lot of us are white dudes or (((white enough at times))) dudes. The existential threat to our liberty is just not there most of the time so our reaction to obvious provocative trolls like the Federalists bringing in a homphobe are “what’s the big deal?”

            I agree that sometimes the twitter mob can do silly things. Some are worse than others but I think a lot of right-wingers feel emboldened and supportive by calls for dulcet toned debate. It is good for the time to know that the default position will no longer be “please don’t kick me” and to experience some contempt.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          These are life and death issues for many people, do you understand that? The Republican party in many states is going on a wild spree of passing legislation which will make life actively uncomfortable at best for many people and at worse, could lead to deaths or near deaths with some state legislatures banning abortion for ectopic pregnancy. Do you see why it is a bit too much that LBGT students are the ones supposed to act with dulcet tones to deliberate and bad faith trolling?

          I take current Republican actions seriously and literally. Mike Braun meant it today when he said that Loving v. Virginia and many other civil rights decisions were wrongly decided. I take it seriously when Republican legislatures are trying to ban entropic pregnancy abortion, and when transphobic legislation is passed with the cruel word of trying to protect “grooming.”

          I think a lot of right-wingers feel like they can get away with a lot of the trolling and bad faith argumentation because they think the opposition will be restrained and dulcet toned. Loud push backs might eventually cause things to sink in.Report

          • InMD in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            This is just silly. I understand perfectly well what the Republican party is doing. What makes no sense is the suggestion that the solution for that is to try to prevent them from talking about it. Further, neither you nor any student activist (or mob) speaks for all gay people or whatever fill in the blank minority. They’re human beings capable of coming to their own conclusions. At least have the balls to engage in or support had behavior in your own name instead of blaming other people for it.

            Your political calculus is also just wrong. This kind of nonsense is terrible for Democrats. The only thing a plurality of voters hates worse is the Republican’s fiscal policy positions. But flagrant leftist illiberalism is a really close second. Keep it up and watch it tip the balance.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
              Ignored
              says:

              Who is trying to “prevent them from talking about it”?

              Who is asserting that some “student activist or mob speaks for all gay people”?

              This waving of arms about imaginary mobs silencing conservatives is the very essence of contrarian gullibility.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                We know who actually knows how to use mobs to silence. They’re better at it.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Saul just asserted it in the comment I responded to.

                Re: the latest Yale controversy facts seem to be disputed. If you need this to be about another incident where the event could not continue or was pre-emptively cancelled there have been such episodes. My opinion is the approach is wrong. But then I like to learn and hear ideas I don’t necessarily agree with, not have my ability to be an adult vetoed by self-righteous morons.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        Further examples include the New York Times editorial board!Report

        • InMD in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          The irony is that it is the exact kind of mentality I’d expect from a hardcore Trumper involved in January 6. Given a fair hearing they might not win and therefore the only option is to try to wreck the game.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to InMD
            Ignored
            says:

            “Here are some Republicans criticizing X.”

            “Well, of course they are, they’re Republicans. I don’t have to address the criticism.”

            “Here are some moderates criticizing X.”

            “You know what a moderate is? It’s a Republican who still wants to get invited to parties. I don’t have to address the criticism.”

            “Here are some Democrats criticizing X as well.”

            “You’re nutpicking. I don’t have to address the criticism.”

            “Um, no. If these guys are nuts, they’re only nuts because we’re all a little bit nuts. They’re actually establishment Dems.”

            “They’re contrarians who are always trotted out for ‘even this Democratically-aligned agrees with Republicans and so-called “moderates”‘ points. I don’t have to address the criticism.”

            “Is there any source that could make this criticism and you would then address it?”

            “The only people who would have standing to make it are people who never, ever would. I don’t have to address the criticism.”Report

  21. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Here’s an actual example of free speech being shut down by protesters:
    Poway Unified School Board Meeting Adjourns Amid Disruption

    And another:
    California school board meeting shutdown by anti-mask protesters

    And several more:
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-increasingly-wild-world-of-school-board-meetings

    After a school-board meeting in Williamson County, Tennessee, a group of protesters surrounded a doctor who had testified in favor of students wearing masks, shouting,“You’re a child abuser,” “We know who you are,” and “You’ll never be allowed in public again.”
    In San Diego County, California, in September, anti-mask protesters forced their way into a school-board meeting and tried to swear themselves in as the new, unelected members. At a chaotic meeting in Buncombe, North Carolina, parents opposed to a mask mandate announced that they, too, had “overthrown” the school board.
    Members of the far-right Proud Boys showed up twice, faces covered, at school-board meetings in Nashua, New Hampshire; in Vancouver, Oregon, Proud Boys gained access to school grounds during anti-mask protests, leading to a lockdown of the schools. At a Loudoun County, Virginia, school-board meeting, which was considering the district’s policies for transgender students and racial equity, riled-up conservatives got so out of hand that the board chair halted the proceedings while the police cleared the room.

    These were events where speech was actually silenced, including threats of violence.Report

  22. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh hey look, it’s a brave defender of free speech:

    Those students who protested once, then silently walked out, allowing the conference to continue in peace? The Dean of the Law School must strike fear into their hearts!

    https://davidlat.substack.com/p/an-open-letter-to-yale-law-dean-heather?s=rReport

  23. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    On the one hand, people on twitter are mean. On the other hand, this Senator argued in the year 2022 that the Supreme Court decisions affirming civil rights for minorities (and non-minority Americans) are infringements of state’s rights: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/sen-braun-open-to-u-s-supreme-court-rescinding-ruling-that-legalized-interracial-marriage/article_19cf8eaa-f75a-5642-865e-5ce88b374160.html?utm_campaign=snd-autopilot&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter_nwiReport

  24. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Maybe not as bad as making a couple Ivy League law professors momentarily uncomfortable, but some might say this is bad:
    Schools nationwide are quietly removing books from their libraries

    Slowly — over months of meetings, investigations and secret conversations with fearful librarians across her counties — she came to understand the disturbing reality. Administrators, afraid of attracting controversy, were quietly removing books from library shelves before they could be challenged.

    “There’s two battles going on at once,” Hull said, referring to parallel pushes from parents who want titles stricken and from school officials who are removing books preemptively. “And it’s been really difficult to fight both of those.”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2022/03/22/school-librarian-book-bans-challenges/

    Boy, that cancel culture, amirite?Report

  25. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Here is some more cancel culture, coming for public health officials:

    In Kansas, Nick Baldetti relied on the local police department to patrol his home to protect his family for about a month. He resigned as director of the Reno County Health Department in July.

    “While the vitriol experienced was unnerving, when threats were left on our doorstep it was far more concerning,” said Baldetti. “It is one thing to be threatened, but when those threats cross over to your family, it is another stress all together.”

    In Colorado, at least 20 health officials resigned after facing threats in public, the state health department told ABC News.

    In Missouri, a dozen county health department directors have left their jobs since March, according to local reporting. Many of them said they had experienced harassment over the actions they took to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

    https://abcnews.go.com/US/major-exodus-public-health-officials-pandemic/story?id=75679880

    But boy, I sure remember where I was when those Yale law professors were momentarily inconvenienced.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      When my side shuts down speech it is with the best of intentions and our issues are important and lives are on the line! When the other side does the same it’s with bad intentions and they’re wrong.

      The problem is supporting your side is way more important than supporting speech, and then your side might as well just tell the other side to shut up. At which point it’s just shocking that they do the same.

      The big argument I keep hearing here is “they [white men] have it coming”.Report

    • Ken S in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      “It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.” Mark Twain

      Plus ca change.Report

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