a do-over (Off-Topic)

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Sunday, December 22, 2019, 16:30 (641 days ago) @ Korny
edited by Kermit, Sunday, December 22, 2019, 16:46

So, I was trying to take Raga's advice and ignore you, but then you kept dropping my name and insinuating horrible things about me (as you do). You are a master troll, Korny, and I don't know why you expect people to hang on your every word after you deploy your patented opening gambit of shitting on people, but here you go, I'm going to go through your post, reading every word (this time on my computer where I can properly see it).

Speech can absolutely be violence, as far as I’m concerned. Someone telling other people that whatever group should be killed (or deported, or jailed, or whatever) is as good as pulling the trigger, especially if that someone has a massive platform with thousands of deranged followers.

You're talking about calls for violence. That already is illegal. But that absolutely is not the same as saying speech is violence.

Calls for violence, and inciting violence aren’t one and the same. I’d hope you can understand nuance, and deliberately worded language that can lead to violence. It’s very much a real thing. I’m glad that you’ve lived a privileged enough life to not see those things happening first-hand though. But don’t let that make you assume that it’s not a real thing.

Because I do understand nuance I said calls for violence and not "deliberately worded language that can lead to violence," which is the kind of slippery language people use when they want to shut you up because you have a different opinion about medicare for all.

You seem overly defensive about this. I’m just saying that speech can totally lead to violence, and while we should champion the first amendment, we as a people should use the power of common sense to say that there are things we should not accept, without bringing government into the conversation. Civil society and all that.

Yes, speech can lead to violence, but as I said, speech that can be identified as a prelude to violence is where there's an exception to free speech, and that's pretty clearly defined. I don't know what you mean by "things we should not accept" but the progression i see is "let's ban Nazis," then "The right are Nazis," then "Let's ban the right" (or, if it's more relatable to you, "Let's ban Commies," then "the left are Commies," then "Let's ban the left"). It's better to have an environment where people feel free to say what they think, and such an environment is pretty rare and fragile thing in human history. First of all, free speech serves as a safety valve that actually prevents violence. Second, it's one of the best ways to actually know what people think. Third, knowing what people think is a necessary step before you can convince them to think differently.

I do not subscribe to the words are just words, marketplace of ideas horseshit. Punch Nazis right in the fucking mouth, forever and always.

NO. This isn't the Weimar Republic. We have free speech so we don't have to punch people (and so we can know the idiots by their speech). You scare me, dude. You complain about people who call for violence, and then you freaking do it. Sigh.


Never thought I’d see Kermit defending Nazis on our very forum...
... and yet...

inb4 thread locked.

I'm defending free speech exactly how the ACLU defended free speech until they abandoned their principles a few years ago. You know damn well I'm not defending Nazis, and I'm offended that you'd even joke that I would. I'd ask for an apology but I know that's not your style. Hell, I'll probably get banned again because of your bullshit.

Kind of weird how folks are saying that Nazis are bad, and rather than acknowledging that, you randomly turn the ACLU into the bad guys. Hmm.

I remember when support of free speech across the the political spectrum was nearly universal in the U.S. It scares me that so many are eager to censor. Maybe it’s because they don’t see any substantive debate anymore, so they don’t see any counter to speech they disagree with other than to ban it. All that’s to say, my mentioning the ACLU wasn’t random—the drop in support of free speech among every day people (as evidenced in this thread) has consequences. Institutions like the ACLU that once supported free speech across the board are the canary in the coal mine.

Anyway, I don’t subscribe to the “good people on both sides” mentality. There is a clear line between “these people hold this unpopular opinion”, and “these people are racists, and dangerous”. White supremacy is evil; we should NOT tolerate it. Neo Nazis are evil. We as a society that has had plenty of history to learn from, should not tolerate it. It should not be allowed to fester and grow unchecked. Those people should not feel emboldened to spread their vitriol. That line of thinking should be stamped out, because it has been spreading (clearly). And it’s not always so obvious. The below-the surface spread of it is what has led the supposedly pro-life crowd to tolerate (and justify) children dying in cages, causes them to turn the other way when injustices are happening, and causes them to see stuff like kneeling in protest as a bad thing that they want to see stopped (funny how the first amendment suddenly doesn’t matter then, huh?)

There’s a lot here to unpack here, but I’ll start with this. Whether I agree with them or not I think it’s possible for people to hold the opinion that the statue of Robert E. Lee should not be removed from a public place and NOT be motivated by racism and/or Nazism or white supremacy. Once you think it’s possible, then it’s possible to interpret that famous comment “good people on both sides” as NOT referring to racists or Nazis or white supremacists. Indeed, the speaker of that comment, intemperate loudmouth though he is, in the same speech immediately clarified that he wasn’t referring to Nazis and white supremacists when he said “good people.”

It’s terrible when children die—agreed.

I haven’t heard any serious person saying football players don’t have the right to kneel. For the record, I’m ambivalent about punishments for speech from any quarter. The answer to speech you don’t like is more speech. That’s been my point all along. It’s possible to say an athlete or neo-Nazi can say what he or she likes about an issue, and at the same time take offense at what they say.

By all means, all of us should argue against racism and bigotry. Another great way to fight it is not to accuse everyone who disagrees with you of racism and bigotry. It cheapens the accusation. Don’t make arrogant comments about them, like they live in a bubble or “I’m glad that you’ve lived a privileged enough life to not see those things happening first-hand” or “you haven't ever been personally targeted by hateful rhetoric.” I mean, how the hell would you know? That’s the kind of crap that really infuriates me. You don’t know what I’ve experienced and it’s bigotry of a kind for you to assume you do. Beyond that is the fact that our personal experiences are only one input to our knowledge and beliefs.

Anyway, you know I’ve always been respectful of people who don’t share my perspective,

That’s hilarious.

but even so, I think it’s important that we don’t ever defend Nazis, and I don’t think that’s something that anyone would disagree with, because it’s not a “slippery slope” for censorship, it’s stopping evil, and I won’t ever apologize for that. You agree that Nazis and white supremacists are completely, invariably, and irredeemably evil, right?

I’m going to answer this question differently this time. I’m all for stopping evil. I think curtailing free speech is a huge evil, and currently it’s a greater threat to our political system than neo-Nazis or Antifa, who I think would be completely ignored were it not for their usefulness. I am upset by the higher visibility of the extremes in our culture, but I strongly suspect it’s astroturf (either by activists, bots, or those on who benefit politically from making the threat larger than it is). I think that social media and the media in general has poisoned civil discourse over the last decade or so. The loudest voices want us to hate each other. Politics have become the Cubs vs. the Yankees or worse, some Old World soccer rivalries that degenerate into violence. I think identity politics is 21-century bigotry legitimized—and one of its worst by-products is that it denies key principles (like color-blindness) that we have traditionally used to argue against white supremacy.

A little story: I met a neo-Nazi once back in the 90s. A friend of mine who lived in a rural area had a dinner party and invited her next door neighbor without really knowing him. I made conversation and figured out pretty quickly where this ignorant kid was coming from. Did I punch him? I did not. I was fascinated. I wanted to know what made him think the way he did. I pretended to neither agree or disagree. In my mind I was letting him give me more and more rope. Nothing came of it because soon enough, my friend (who is of Jewish descent) overheard him and kicked him out. I didn’t blame her at all, but I was a little bit disappointed, because I did want to understand him. My intent was to challenge him at a place where his logic was most vulnerable, and maybe that wouldn’t change him that night, but maybe I could plant a seed.

Korny, you misrepresented what you asked me. In a later post you said that I had not responded when you asked me to “denounce white supremacist speech,” and I went back to see where you had asked that. I found the question in this post and thought I answered it. Then I realized that’s not your question. I’ll condemn evil ideologies all day long, but I’m not as quick to condemn the people. To breitzen’s point, I think almost everyone is redeemable. I hope that kid I met 25 years ago was. I think there are a lot of (especially young) people who enjoy tweaking noses from the safety of the internet, and some of what we see is a version of that. It reminds me of you, actually—I remember your shenanigans with your partner-in-crime Fanella. Claude tells me that you do what you do to “help people think in different ways” or something like that. I’m not convinced—I’m still amazed he made the longest-lived troll ever to hit bungie.org an admin, but he obviously thought you were redeemable. I question his judgment but admire his generosity.

So, I hate the sin, but try (and often fail) to love the sinner. That’s my final answer.


P. S. I am still sorta kinda looking forward to seeing the new Star Wars.

P. P. S. I wouldn’t punch you, Korny—but I won’t stand for your making me out to be a racist. Seriously, back off.

P.P.P.S. I love this guy.

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