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Warning signs for a totalitarian society


Campus ReformAn email from Divest Dartmouth accused The D of “negligence,” stating that allowing Spector and others like him to express their opinions “endanger[s] the safety and wellbeing of marginalized students” and “only further perpetuates the culture of toxic, male, white supremacy.” About nine other student groups echoed these sentiments, either calling on The D to publicly apologize for posting the op-ed, or to remove it from the website entirely.

On Monday, a campus email from the Stonefence Review, a Dartmouth literary magazine, took a more personal turn. The letter first criticized Spector and called for The Dartmouth to rescind the op-ed, but then went on to publicly name the fraternity of which Spector is a member, demanding that the fraternity itself apologize for the “act of violence” that Spector committed.

In bold font, the letter then calls on the fraternity to use its “place of power” with respect to Spector’s social life to “take a stand,” implying that the fraternity should take some sort of disciplinary action against him. This email, along with many of the others, has gone far beyond a mere expression of empathy with the Trips directors, and now seems more concerned with smearing the author’s reputation. The trend of the campus-wide emails sent throughout the weekend has taken us farther and farther away from the actual op-ed written by Spector, and has taken us closer to a full-blown libel campaign. Spector has now been slandered in front of the entire student body with unfounded accusations of violence, white supremacy, racism, sexism, and homophobia.

Note that conflation of opinions people disagree with and violence. Note the emphasis on responding to this man's op-ed piece in a student newspaper with calls to punish him, ostracize him, and repeatedly equating his opinion with violence. When your opinion is violence, using violence to make you shut up becomes self-defense. No, that's not a legitimate equation; it is, however, the inevitable end result of this type of response.

And that, I think, is deliberate.

It has intimidation value. Intimidation makes people shut up.

UPDATE: This is how it works. They call your speech violence and hate speech, and say it shouldn't be allowed, despite the fact that it is absolutely not either of those things. Then they insist you hire 30 police officers for "security" during the speech, because the leftists there will riot. And then the people holding the event are asked to pay the fees for several hours of overtime for each of those police officers. (For 30 of them, it adds up fast). Result? The ordinary, non-controversial right-leaning speaker has costs hugely higher than the corresponding left-wing speaker, is routed to a much smaller venue ("security concerns"), and has a much smaller audience.

This entry was published Sat Feb 10 09:24:39 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2018-02-09 20:58:18.0. [Tweet]

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