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In the discussion thread: The Limits of Free Speech [View all]

Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #283)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 06:05 PM

305. What the fuck is "comfering more power"

about? This is your response to blatant and unabashed racial discrimination being confronted and dealt with in the public sphere?

Who in general, in our culture, has power? White male heterosexist elites, by and large, as represented by the students you are defending.

Who in general has less power, relative to those elites?

Women and girls, racial minorities, LGBTs, people with disabilities. Precisely the sorts of people folks like these students have, in the past, been able to exclude and abuse with relative impunity.

For once that oppression and exclusion is called out and dealt with, and to you this represents some vast, existential crisis which sets at risk your "freedom?"

The example I cite isn't all that "extreme" -- not in the context of a history that includes tens of thousands of lynchings, generations of enslavement, gay-bashing, rape and sexual and domestic violence, and decades upon decades of employment and housing discrimination. Until the advent of civil rights law not only were such incidents of race baiting not "extreme"--they were par for the course and entirely free of legal sanction, to the extent that most professions and very many forms of employment were almost entirely closed to racial minorities. Check out the history of racial violence during World War II, when white supremacists acted to keep Blacks from jobs in northern cities. Remember the response when a single Black student tried to enroll at the University of Mississippi. Our history is replete with tens of thousands of such "extreme" examples.

And what "new policy?" The Civil Rights Act, under which this university action falls, has been around for a half a century. The Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protections Provision of the Constitution has been in place since the late 1860s (though it was mostly ignored until the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, under Thurgood Marshall, made use of it in Brown v. Board).

I'm glad that at least you've walked back from your aversion to all speech codes. Similarly, your notion that people are "born free" and only limited by "the law" is equally misguided. That may be YOUR experience, but it certainly doesn't apply to very many people in this society.

Again and again it has been pointed out to you that this isn't about "free speech"--it's about a history of discrimination on the part of this particular chapter of this particular fraternity, and an open admission of this policy, on the part of these particular students. It is you who are insisting that this is about "speech" as opposed to discrimination, and signals some great new mantle of oppression for us all.

"Consent of the governed?" What further consent do we need to punish blatant racial discrimination in the public sector, beyond that already inherent in the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964? This last was passed after almost a decade of debate, by both houses of Congress, and signed by a president who was overwhelmingly re-elected after the law was enacted. What other "consent" do you require?

I think we have to agree to disagree on this, since I'm clearly not getting through to you, and your arguments are entirely unconvincing to me.

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LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineNew Reply What the fuck is "comfering more power"
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