when will we do something about this particular cancel culture
I really don't know how much longer I can continue to write this newsletter when I have so little respect for its readers. The majority of people here have created a mental world in which their enemies never have their rights violated, where the immense effort to silence pro-Palestinian voices in the world can never actually be looked in the face for what it is. I can't live like this. I don't want your readership and I don't want your money.
I don’t understand why people try to make this more complicated than it is. You believe in it or you don’t. If you do, you believe it applies to your worst enemies. If you don’t, don’t f*cking pretend you do.
It's very hard to feel sorry for 'protestors' who routinely call for the elimination of an entire race of people. Add to that, the fact that their leaders are rabidly religious(at least they say they are) and openly call for the removal of ALL religions but Islam from the face of the earth.
If Muslims want people to quit being 'afraid' of them....maybe they should tone down the rhetoric. I have yet to hear a Jew or Israeli vow to wipe Islam from the face of the earth.
Nobody believed Hitler would actually be as vile as he turned out to be....in spite of him saying it out loud over and over.
When zealots scream things out loud....like 'from the river to the sea,' you should believe it.
Remember, Hamas broke a cease fire to murder hundreds of Jews, most of them just civilians. This cannot be overlooked.
Having said that...this is NOT a fight the US should be involved in as a country. The Jews and Muslims have been fighting each other for hundreds of years. Not our monkeys, not our circus. We have problems of our own to solve.
We don't need to favor either side unless they attack US. Israel does not need aid. They are a rich country. If they want to buy stuff from us, fine, but we shouldn't be gifting them anything.
I am on Israel's side. I am NOT on the side of the vocal Palestinians. I AM on the side of the Palestinians that were used by Hamas as targets. They KNEW Israel had to retaliate in a big way to something so heinous. They have sacrificed Gaza while they all sit in Dubai and party down.
Pretty ballsy of you to argue Palestinians are human beings ENTITLED to equal rights, frankly quite shocking to hear.
You keep whipping this dead horse, but I just don't think firing people for debating whether puberty blockers were as safe as we were told is on the same level as firing people for debating whether it's ok to kill Jews.
The real hypocrisy here is that the "punch Nazis" crowd is now sharing talking points with actual neo-nazis. One side has clearly fallen farther than the other. And this is ignoring that Nazi included anyone right of AOC.
But to your point, I'll say the same thing I've been forced to say during the last 10 years of increasing authoritarian speech norm: This far, and no further. But I think we both know which side it is that's going to move the line again.
I wish Freddie would stop writing about ME conflict, because every time he does I lose more respect for him as a human being. It wasn't high to begin with, but it's at zero now.
When Hamas set people on fire and cooked a baby alive in an over, Freddie was not going to condemn that. No sir, he has PRINCIPLES!!!
Free speech always had an exception for calls to violently murder someone. When Freddie's friends and compatriots at DSA celebrated Hamas with glider stickers, they were cheering for murder. When people chant "from the river to the sea" that is a call for genocide, which people who chant it freely admit is their goal. When people carry signs calling to cleanse the world of the Jews, that is also a call for genocide. Freddie excuses this behavior or simply ignore it. As a socialist, he is not against the idea of mass murder. Gotta break a few eggs amirite?
If somebody attended a rally and screamed I WANT TO ELIMINATE BLACK PEOPLE ON A GENETIC LEVEL and then lost their job at a law firm, would Freddie say their free speech rights are being attacked? Or is it rather reap what you sow?
Freddie's idiotic One State solution is also a call to eliminate Israel. He neglects to mention how Palestinians were given numerous offers for a state of their own which they rejected. He doesn't remember that Israel withdrew from Gaze only for Hamas to take over. Right of return? Freddie doesn't know what that phrase even means. In chemistry, there's a concept of like attracts like. That is certain chemical compounds attract each other. Violent Islamists and socialists are too such compound. This has been remarked upon extensively. It is what one would expect.
Free speech emphatically does not include incitement to violence or death threats. It simply doesn’t.
Show me a pro-Palestinian protest where nothing of the sort has taken place.
If people want to say “we like Palestinians, and we don’t particularly like Jews“ their right to do is protected under the First Amendment.
If people want to protest the military incursion into Gaza or the settlements in the West Bank or any other issues, it’s their right to do so. And I will join you in defending that right.
But it is completely disingenuous to act as if what’s happening at these events is protected free speech. These are calls to arms, and calls for genocide.
I don’t necessarily agree with banning protests or canceling events in advance just because things like this *might* happen, but I can also sympathize with the dilemma.
I lean more toward Israel than Palestine in this wretched conflict, but that doesn't matter. It's reaching the point where I would support someone for president - literally anyone - who was passionately devoted to free speech over any other issue, foreign or domestic, free speech, period. Don't see anyone like that on the horizon, though.
Generally the concept of free speech does not extent to blatant calls for violence. Go to any pro-Palestinian protest and you’ll hear exactly that - “glory to the martyrs” and “intifada now” are explicit calls for violence that promote terrorism and jihad.
As much as I do support free speech and think the restrictions described above are utter bullshit... I cannot stop the dash of schadenfreude I feel as a bunch of "Freeze Peach LOL" people realize the system was never really on their side. Guess what? Free speech protects you from the whims of the powerful. Always has, always will.
Yes, I'm going to continue to support organizations like FIRE that have been consistent on the matter (https://www.thefire.org/news/israeli-palestinian-conflict-escalates-so-must-our-commitment-free-speech), but damn if I won't do it with a shit-eating "I told ya so" smirk. Perhaps this reflects poorly on me, perhaps not, but it is what it is.
As I understand it the Palestinians, for all intents and purposes, lost the Arab Israeli war and lost their territory as a result. Similar in many was to Mexico losing the Mexican American war and losing territory as a result. Well, in both cases, they lost it fair and square because they didn’t have their shit together and it’s going to stay lost so, like the Mexicans, they need to get used to it.
I mean if Mexico wants to send troops across the border to kidnap and murder Americans as part of some ill conceived plan to get California back they shouldn’t be surprised when we’re carpet bombing Mexico City. But we just want our land back! Well, you’re not getting it and the bombing will continue until you get that thought through your head.
I don't know man. What is the real argument here? That there are unfair consequences to those who voice their support or that supporters are not being given the opportunity to be heard at all? I would go along for the ride on the former but call total BS on the latter.
It seems pro-Palestinian voices are being heard on college campuses. They are being voiced in high schools. Why don't you ask Jewish people in this country if pro-Palestinian voices in this country are not being heard. They sure as shit are hearing pro-Palestine voices. Right up in their face.
I live in an extremely red area and there are confrontational pro-Palestine rallies regularly in certain parts of town. If you want to argue that U.S. leadership is pro-Israel and that is unfair, that is one thing. But to say they are not getting a voice, I just absolutely disagree with that statement.
It's a highly contentious issue and people have strong opinions, some of whom have no idea what they are talking about. I won't pretend to be an expert on this topic and all of its complexities but I do pay attention to current affairs and I believe that many opinions on all sides have been given platforms to make their case. Maybe that is changing and will continue to but for now. Can't go all the way there.
In fairness, deeply un-American speech policies in Europe go beyond this issue.
Which is to say, *actual*, constitutional free speech in America is something very much worth defending.
All the more reason to not let these discussions devolve into "it should be illegal for someone to call me a corncob on Twitter".
Any chance you can get your friend Bari Weiss to have you back on to discuss this line?
"A bunch of the people who have dined out on free speech for years are saying nothing because Zionism is more dear to them than civil liberties, and now it’s time for all of us to state your basic allegiances when it comes to free expression."
The university I work for failed to identify "Students for Justice in Palestine" years ago, under the logic that it was a group that singled out one country for scorn (there was no precedent for this argument). Many faculty were against this, and the students ultimately sued. Unfortunately, they would almost certainly have won but the case was thrown out because the students affected had graduated and thus no longer had standing.
One of the reasons I'm against litigating "hate speech, "microaggressions" etc as matters of law or campus policy is because it will be used in ways you don't anticipate. Does supporting Palestine or BLM equal hate speech? Some people will successfully make the argument. At various points in recent years state legislators have threatened to defund CUNY campuses if there was too much support among faculty or students for the BDS movement.
It was a massive mistake for liberals to abandon free speech as a core principle.
The problem I have with your comment is it conflates free speech with cancellation.
Free speech is an objective problem, the right all Americans have to speak freely without being arrested---the KKK March in Skokie being a classic example. About half of what you posted are examples of these rights being violated, and are outrageous violations of civil liberties.
The other half of your anecdotes, however, are about cancellation--or fear of it. Cancellation is a purely subjective problem, one in which your employer or audience or co-workers have decided that what you said is so offensive (or perceived as so offensive) that they no longer wish to associate with you. And offense, like beauty, is totally in the eye of the beholder.
We can try to encourage a culture of tolerance, equanimity, forgiveness, and thick-skinnedness, but ultimately people are allowed to make up their own minds about where the line is. There’s a more specific issue when workplaces that rely on batting around a wide range of (often uncomfortable) ideas--academia, journalism, the arts, comedy clubs--suddenly ban a set of (fairly popular) viewpoints. But that’s just not what’s happening here. A lot of people cannot seem to advocate pro-Palestinian positions without saying something that is received as anti-Semitic. In many cases, I think that’s a wrong and ungenerous reaction to what they said, but I’m not their boss. (I am Jewish, however.) Unfortunately, most people are good enough at their job not to get fired but not so good that they’re irreplaceable, which basically means their employment is contingent on whether or not their boss likes them. Speaker beware.