Discourse Needs Different Perspectives
Discourse Needs Different Perspectives
Just logging on to your Facebook page or walking into your workplace can pose to provide a hotbed into a debate. As the discourse moves from discussing the kids and the weather, it all can quickly careen in to a political minefield.
In fact, some individuals are quick to label a debate in civil discourse as “hate speech”. You don’t believe all of the tenets of the Black Lives Matter movement? Hate speech. You support law enforcement? Hate speech. You don’t believe you’re privileged? Hate speech. See what I am getting at here?
The “discourse police” who feel you are engaging of said “hate speech” will stop at nothing to ruin your very existence on this earth. Take LSU professor, Alyssa Johnson.
If @LSU won’t take action, we as professors can. Keeping a list of names and if I see them enrolled in my course, I will drop them. It’s not just free speech, it’s hate speech and it’s a threat to student safety. #safespace #BlackLivesMatter”-Alyssa Johnson
The above is a tweet that has since been deleted. But, keeping a list of names? Really? And dropping them if they engage in “hate speech”? What exactly is this “hate speech” of which she speaks? Are there certain words to watch out for that will set off the alarms? Does a student receive any prior warning before getting dropped from a class? Are we echoing and harkening back to McCarthyism when attacking the subject of civil discourse?
That’s how the battle of ideas is supposed to work. I’ve long been of the view that the measure of the health of a democracy is its tolerance for dissent, particularly on matters it holds dear. The same question should be asked of social and political and religious movements: Are they able to tolerate disagreement or not? When they’re not, we should worry.”-Stephen L. Carter
Discourse has become, to some, a one way street. And shutting it down ala Negan on The Walking Dead with a baseball bat actually seems like a great idea to radical academics. And these academics want other potential young academics to see things their way and their way alone. They encourage research, they recommend articles written by other like-minded people. Then, they encourage young college students to exchange in discourse with others-using the ol’ strong-arm technique to beat those who have been around the block a few times into submission because they took that one class, one semester ago, and they are overnight experts on checking their white privilege!
They tell you they don’t want to hear from anyone who is white and conservative. To “sit down and shut up”, basically. All the while, they quote articles written by other white people and favor opinions like these on racial relations:
Except that those white kids are probably growing up in a safe, upper middle-class neighborhood and have never been inside of a marginalized neighborhood. Except that Tim Wise is advising parents to tell their kids to recognize that they are better off and the quality of their lives is superior and therefore, they are the more superior race (read between the lines there). Instead of placing all children on an even plane-black and white-these white authors, college professors, and the like, enjoy talking about how white people are superior. Wise even said it himself:
Because when you’re part of a dominant group, you’re not forced to spend a lot of time thinking about how you fit in or about how your privileges as a member of the dominant group might affect others who don’t belong to it.”-Tim Wise
Yet, not recognizing privilege in discourse or the opinions of the “in crowd” of academics, celebrities and journalists is on the road to becoming “hate speech” and may get you dropped from a class or fired from a job. Engaging in discourse that is contrary to their script will get you PNG status in “preferred” social circles.
How do I know this? Once upon a time when I was 20-something and a university student, I took a few classes on the Social Justice spectrum. There was the Middle-Eastern history class, the African-American studies class and the Women’s Studies class clumped in with my journalism degree. There were some law classes in there, too. I believed what these “experts” told me and honestly had my values and views of our country-and life in general- misaligned. Professors of these courses usually come from a very liberal background. They have grown up being fed these ideals that they pass along to in-awe college students who want to be viewed as smart, intelligent and yes, superior to their predecessors who have lived life and been on earth a little longer than they have.
I have been there.
Was I brainwashed? No, I worked. I busted my hump to support myself while watching some of my liberal college buddies get bankrolled by their parents and have crap basically handed to them. They whined because the gravy train was about to run out. This was all so f-cked up! Who was going to take care of them then? The government? Why couldn’t they get six-figure-a-year jobs? Because politicians who claim to have their best interests at heart (they don’t) claim that the world opens up with that piece of paper and “stellar intellect”. It doesn’t. One still has to bust her ass (unless you’re part of their privileged, often very white clique).
I’m a white girl. My white parents grew up in Harlem-a marginalized neighborhood. There was crime, drug addiction, gang wars and they were poor. Dirt poor. There were weeks where my grandmother, who was widowed at a young age, had to decide between bus fare to get my mom to school or a carton of milk. They lived in these neighborhoods with African Americans, Hispanics alike-all on an even plane. All were equally poor. The very people who claim to champion these neighborhoods line their pockets. They have done so for years. The very communities that have the high crime rates also house the pot shops, the abortion clinics. Who puts them there? The same people that claim to be their “champions”, their saviors in climbing out of poverty and oppression.
So I am writing this as an appeal to college students and soon-to-be college students who are buying into this discourse. There are people that I love dearly who are in these circles and really do not know just yet what they are in for. In these circles, there will always someone smarter than YOU. People in these circles get off on this stuff…this air of superiority. This is why they like to say they are privileged and want you to check yours. It’s the subtle mean-kid, bully attitude and tactic of the left. Most of them are pretentious AF and although intellectually well-read, cannot figure out how to get out of a damn paper bag. Most have not one single ounce of street smarts and common sense. Most have never been to a marginalized neighborhood in their lifetimes to see that the system THEY think and the people THEY think who are on the right side of history have been wrong all along. This is all while they grovel in an ultimate tone-deaf display of atoning for their white privilege.
These privileged academics may as well change the discourse to say, “stay down because we know we’re superior”. They don’t have a single ounce of emotional intelligence to even remotely understand how their language impacts those around them. When hating all law enforcement officers becomes the mainstream, when freaken Paw Patrol becomes a trigger and other cartoons become censored because they contain guns and therefore imply systemic racism, we’ve gone Looney Tunes, yo! Want to resist? Resist the urge to get into a debate when you are unwilling to hear the other side of a rational argument. When you, college academics, tell others who have taken a few more trips around the sun to “educate themselves” or insinuate to others that your perspective and discourse is more important than someone else’s opposing discourse because everything else is hate speech, you have lost this argument.