Try Not to Get Offended

I found this little gem fetid, steaming pile while on Patheos. Try not to get too offended by my position on the matter.

As a society, we are now looking for offense around every corner. Leaders are being forced to resign. Commenters are castigated. Speakers are being silenced.

If a leader says something completely bigoted and racist then yes, s/he should resign. Why? Because if this is an elected leader, then s/he is not representing everyone in his/her constituency. If a speaker says something like, “The Holocaust wasn’t real” then they need to face criticism of their beliefs. If a commenter hops onto a blog and says something that is breaking the commenting guidelines, then the commenter should be duly castigated.

Just because you can speak freely doesn’t mean that ideas deserve equal time.

The forced apologies, resignations and sackingsare [sic] rampant. We are learning to live a very narrow world, in which every action and word is scrutinized.

If by a “narrow world” you mean one where verbal abuse isn’t tolerated then yeah, we are. It sounds to me like Dave is upset that he can’t say certain things anymore, that he’ll get called out on what he’s said and he doesn’t like that.

Here’s the thing, Dave: free speech has consequences*. If you say something horrible, someone will probably take you to task over it. Why? Because they have free speech as well. It isn’t that hard a concept to grasp.

Those who once championed free-speech on every corner are the same ones who are killing it in the public square And it won’t be long before the “offended” will soon find themselves as the “offenders.” It’s the full circle of speech.

Let me first address something with a now infamous little cartoon:

free-speech

Okay, now there’s a problem with what Dave has posited about Berkeley; the college didn’t have to provide Hanrahan with a platform. There’s already one on campus. All Hanrahan would have had to do was go to the common area and start yelling. Street preachers do it all the time. No one is prevented from using that as a platform to air whatever garbage they want to say. How do I know? I’ve attended some college classes and we had our share of holy rollers standing in front of the Student Union, screaming at us that we were all hell bound.

Here’s the thing: Hanrahan wouldn’t be able to get any security guards if he did this. He’d be taken to task for his opinions, as the students would start pointing out his logical fallacies. But worst of all? This would be truly free speech; he couldn’t charge any admission to his diatribe. He wouldn’t make any money off of it. When you get right down to it, this is all about the almighty dollar and not the quashing of free speech. That’s it in a nutshell.

So much for the idea of “free speech” in that regard.

Matt Walsh offers these truths”

1) If it wasn’t intended to offend you, then you shouldn’t be offended.

2) You do not get to decide someone else’s intentions. They do.

3) Being offended is a choice you make. Nobody is responsible for that choice but you.

4) Even if the slight was intended and deliberate, functioning adults understand that they must move on and not dwell over every sideways glance or rude comment.

First of all, Matt Walsh isn’t a great source to cite. Seriously.

Or, to put what he’s saying differently, “Why so sensitive?” I’ve heard that one before and it almost always comes out of the mouth of either a bully or an abuser. It’s a very good way to pass the blame on to the victim, rather than having the abuser own up to it. It’s a way to duck responsibility and hurt the victim even more.

And that is the heart of the matter. I speak freely and from experience on that one.


*If anyone knows just how loaded a thing free speech is, it is Hanrahan. Seriously, this guy was given enough free speech rope and he hanged himself with it, all the while kicking the stool out from under himself, grinning the entire time. Captain Cassidy’s take on this is a great read, and I urge you to do so.

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About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we are both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat. Life is pretty darned awesome.
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