Free Speech, Explained

Free Speech, Explained

By Sam Kleinman and Johnny 3 Tears

Sam's comments are in bold.  Johnny 3 Tears' are in italics.

 

 

The first time I read The Georgetown Academy, I really didn’t want to respond.

Don't lie.  You did.

We all know the Internet’s golden rule: Never feed the troll.

Speaking of trolls, Sam holds the record for commenting over on our Facebook page.  Even when we stopped responding to his comments he continued to comment some more, all the while attributing to us attitudes and ideas we've never actually held or expressed.  

Is it because he feels he's been dethroned from his self-perceived position as Georgetown's preeminent free speech advocate?  

But by the time I read its attempted “defense” of free speech, like Stephen Colbert and a package of Oreos, I just couldn’t help myself.

We like Oreos too, but prefer The Daily Show and South Park.

Here was a member of the Georgetown community delighting in its freedom to engage in personal attacks and invective under the guise of free speech.

Really?  Everyone is invited to read our website and determine that for themselves.

Complete archives are on the sidebar to the left. 

BTW, in Sam's world, "personal attacks and invective" = "people who disagree with my views and have the temerity to say so."

It’s true that TGA is protected by the First Amendment and it should be, if only because it presents the opportunity and shows the necessity for continued debate about hate speech. But the defense it gives for its hateful speech is deeply problematic and demands a response.

There you go with the hate speech talk again.  

Can someone please explain why accusations of hate, racism, sexism, homophobia, and all the other -ists and -ics out there is the first response of left-wing liberal social justice warriors whenever people present views with which they disagree?  

Why don't you guys, you know, actually deal with the arguments expressed instead of trying to always delegitimize them by tossing out words which you only cheapen by repeated and inappropriate use.  

It's like crying wolf. 

Eventually, people won't take those words seriously anymore.

To give some background, TGA is a far-right blog that identifies itself as journalism.

We're an independent blog that provides news and commentary and went from a few times a week to daily because we received so much support and help.  Clearly a vacuum exists and TGA is needed to disrupt the stranglehold left-wing liberal social justice warriors have in cowing everyone into keeping silent.  

You should read our emails.  We've even gotten some love from liberals who object to the behavior of those who go after others willing to present contrary views.  One said we're "necessary" and another called us "fun and thoughtful."  

It writes anonymously, arguing that if it were to feature a public masthead, it would be “tarred and feathered,” with people shouting the writers down and making it impossible for them to speak.

Actually, we never said our writers would be shouted down and that it would be impossible to speak.  What we've said repeatedly is we would be punished for holding politically incorrect views, because it happened already this year in a very public manner with someone who drew a cartoon and the College Republicans who were threatened by the administration

This doesn't make it impossible to speak, though what it does is make doing so not a very good idea, which is sad, because college is supposed to be a place where all manner of ideas should be freely and fairy discussed in the pursuit of knowledge.  

Its first widely read piece was “Wild Gay Sex at Georgetown,” in which, among other things, it insinuated that all gay men enjoy drag.

True and not true.  That was our first widely read post, but we didn't insinuate all gay men enjoy drag.  That's yet another false thing Sam is attributing to us.  People can read for themselves and decide.  What we said is there are individuals obsessed with becoming a member of the opposite sex, which is a true statement. Just ask anyone with gender identity dysphoria.  We know not all gay men enjoy drag.  

It also referenced “feminist hysteria,” depicted one student as a crazed, cartoon monster foaming at the mouth and invited readers to view its next article, a “takedown of H*yas for Abortion.”

We referenced "feminist hysteria" because feminist hysteria is a thing.  

Who did we depict as a crazed, cartoon monster?  We used a common English first name with that gif.  It could just have easily been "Sam the Social Justice Warrior," which you know, might actually have been better because of the alliteration.    

And we did certainly invite people to read our post on H4A,  as it's a good one.  

Naturally, some students were upset and offended, with one person asking, “Is this supposed to be journalism? You should credit the author(s) so we (and future employers) can put faces to your ‘journalism.’ And here’s where things really went off the rails.

We all know the future employers line was a warning shot at keeping us quiet, (btw, she was the first, but not the only one to use it).  

We know this because the person in question is a professional activist who has used the "you're racist" accusation on others before since she knows it will scare people into keeping quiet or sour an argument without actually having to engage with it, and having been trained in the art of social justice war mongering, she knows that going after people's jobs is a key tactic of the movement and the quickest way to silence and hurt those who have the audacity to put forth ideas with which she disagrees.  

Such things happen time and again, and again, and again, and again, and again (like, seriously, we could go on and on and on if we wanted). 

For reasons beyond understanding, TGA thought that pointing out that few employers tolerate extreme views is tantamount to personal threats.

It's not that few employers tolerate extreme views.  It's that few employers want any controversy, regardless of whether the view is extreme or not, because they're in the business of maximizing profits, and people on the left know this so their current preferred tactic is to publicly shame and force those companies into firing or not hiring those willing to state ideas they don't like or who don't support politically correct causes. 

It used to be people could just disagree.  Now, not only can you not disagree, but you also have to support the political correctness, or you suffer consequences.   

But it did, and in response, it employed racialized, sexualized and overall disgusting GIFs. Responding to a detractor with incredibly offensive, racist GIFs is not how you engage in reasoned debate. It is far more akin to throwing a temper tantrum on a playground.

So, everyone can read the full post here and see all the gifs.  

One gif is of a black woman slaying a zombie.  

The other is a cartoon of a white woman (Snookie from Jersey Shore) trying to bang in the butt Eric Cartman, the fat kid from South Park who plays the right-wing doofus on the show, at least until this season when he realized that by being a social justice warrior he could score all sorts of special treatment.  

If we had used two gifs featuring black women we would have been called racists.  

If we had used two gifs featuring white women we still would have been called racists.  

Because the definition of racist is no longer someone who believes one particular race is superior to another, but is instead anyone who disagrees with a liberal.

When we selected them it was because of the ideas they express: slaying someone and screwing someone over.  Same reason Dylan depicted Chris in the dead horse costume, because the idea expressed applied to the situation at hand.  

In both situations race was irrelevant.  

But it takes an open and rational mind to understand those points, and perhaps that's too much to ask of some people.  The fact is if you've been brainwashed your whole life to see everything through the prism of race and attribute everything you don't like to racist behavior, then that's not something you would understand.

As much as it thinks holding unpopular views means being silenced, TGA functionally silences anyone who might engage with it with such behavior.

Really, how?  

Do we not allow people to comment anonymously on our blog, even when their comments toward us become abusive and sexually offensive?

Do we prevent others from speaking out or stop The Hoya from publishing false statements about TGA, such as how TGA supposedly contributed to a climate in which a "rash" of hate crimes occurred after 2001, even when GUPD docs and The Hoya's own reporting show no hate crimes occurred during the period in question?

Do we stop Sam from making false accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., even though our contributors and advisors include women, non-Catholics, and people of color, including one half-black, half-Jewish individual?  And if we're so anti-gay, why did we publish Matthew Quallen's excellent interview on our site?  Why did we suggest the LGBTQ Resource Center bring two gay intellectuals, of whom we're big fans, to campus to give speeches?

Here's another question: aside from mentioning the names of those who have written for or already appeared in The Hoya and national news publications, whose names have we actually used?  There's plenty of names to name and stuff to write about, including the Facebook posts we've archived which talk about assaulting us.  Yet we haven't mentioned A SINGLE NAME unless it appeared first in The Hoya, The Voice, or national media.

Honestly, who would want to engage with someone so mean-spirited?

You, evidently.

As a result, TGA’s anonymity is so pernicious precisely because it chooses invective over argument. When you insult individuals for no other reason than to hurt them, there can no longer be any honor in an empty byline.

We've made a ton of arguments.  Readers can see for themselves and then just look at the comments from our detractors who don't actually make any arguments, as opposed to responding like Sam by making false accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., when they're not calling us cowards for being anonymous.

TGA went even further, actually telling detractors to “get the f–k out” in another GIF.

We didn't say it.  Ari Gold said it.  

One of its most recent articles is shockingly titled “Get Out of My Class and Leave America.” TGA, in quoting a University of North Carolina at Wilmington professor, actually wants people who disagree with it to not only leave the academy, but leave the country. For a publication that alleges Georgetown students “can’t handle differing views,” it really can’t handle criticism itself.

That headline shocked you?  Wow, you must be very delicate.  

Anyways, people can see the post here and read exactly what the professor said, which as we told Sam when he was hysterically blowing up our Facebook with comments, was a recommendation and not the "order" he kept claiming.

BTW, why do you keep citing our work but then not linking to it so readers can determine for themselves what it is we are saying?  It's not that you don't want them to actually to see the evidence and make a determination for themselves, is it?  

For TGA, the irony is twofold. First, because it prefers to spend its time on inflammatory, homophobic, racist — and every other “-ist” out there — snark, it actually discourages anyone from having a rational discussion with it. Second, it actually tells those who disagree with the publication to never speak to it and leave Georgetown forever. That is antithetical to the spirit of free speech.

Our commentary is biting, sure.  Probably an extra-hard pill to swallow too because this is the first time left-wing liberal social justice warriors like Sam are being challenged and called out for their illiberal behavior.  

As to discouraging discussion, we've repeatedly called for more and even defended the right of H*yas for Abortion to table and hold their rallies.  

Our views on free speech have from the very beginning been presented here, and as we note here, previous iterations of TGA clearly spoke out when The Voice was stolen and destroyed, though The Hoya and The Voice either applauded or ignored the theft of TGA the first time it occurred.   

TGA’s bigotry and hypocrisy, though, is easy to respond to. Its argument about conservatism at Georgetown is more difficult. There is real merit to the argument that, on an overtly liberal campus, it can be tough to voice a legitimately conservative opinion. No one wants to be met with complete silence in a classroom after contributing, and no one wants to be singled out in the editorial columns of The Hoya or the Georgetown Voice.  But a climate uncomfortable for conservatives is not necessarily a climate that outright censors conservative opinions.

Finally, as we near the end, Sam actually says something true.  The left-wing politically correct climate does stifle discussion.  That said, he lies again with the usual and overplayed accusations of bigotry and hypocrisy.

We enjoy a special kind of free speech on this campus, one in which if you believe you are right, you have the opportunity to mount an argument to that effect. The university cannot censor you and the opposition cannot harass you without serious repercussions.

Sure the University can censor you.  

That's the whole point behind having a speech code, to make some speech allowable, and other speech not allowable.  

Otherwise, why even have it?

There's also self-censorship which happens because people who speak out get their career prospects threatened, not to mention their physical safety.

They get a penis drawn on their white boards and get reported to the administration for wanting to start a club.  

They get accused of creating a culture in which hate crimes flourish, even though no hate crimes actually occurred.

They don't get their events covered fairly in The Hoya

Rallies are organized and struggle sessions occur in churches to shame them.  

Public meeting are held to discuss what can be done about them.

CSE threatens them.

Without anyone knowing anything about them they're told time and again they are whatever -ist or -ic the accuser comes up with to avoid dealing with the argument.  

Those who object to the diversity requirement are told they are not men and women for others and are accused of racism simply because they don't want to be forced to take a class that isn't about the discussion of diverse points of view, but is meant to ideologically indoctrinate them with left-wing ideas.    

Sam, this might have been the silliest thing you've said so far.

Free speech exists to educate and inspire, not silence and intimidate. It requires bravery in the face of sometimes insurmountable odds. Being scared of the opposition is not a reason to engage in invective and name-calling, and it is certainly not a reason to advocate for the opposition’s silencing and expulsion. In an enlightened society, TGA, we don’t administer hemlock to those we believe corrupt the young — we prove them wrong.

Actually, free speech exists because human beings have a fundamental right to speak their minds.  And as we've said before, threats are not part of the deal.  

In regards to name-calling, you've done it plenty of times in this piece already, just like those in our comments sections.  Nice try too in attempting to distort our views on speech.  We've always been for more, not less.  

As to being scared, are you projecting here?  Since TGA began this semester, left-wing liberal social justice warriors sure have been scrambling and lashing out.  

Someone's scared of what's happening, and we're pretty sure it's not us.  

By the way, nice Plato reference.

Anyways, in closing, we just have one question for you Sam . . .