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America is not a college campus and it won't become one

Reader comment on item: De-platforming in Daily Life

Submitted by Dave (United States), Jun 2, 2020 at 10:44

Social justice warriors are trying to remake America into a college campus. Undoubtedly, the great majority of them are college educated members of the middle class. During their formative years, even before they hit college, they were taught to conform dogmatically to a certain set of ideas identified with virtue, and that any deviation from those ideas is heresy.

By those lights, heretics are usually characterized as racists. Racists are people who have the temerity to criticize anything or anyone deemed to be a victim of racism, such as blacks, Islam, Muslims, etc. Since America is racist, being pro-American or pro-military is racist. The West is racist. Third World people are never racist since they were victims of Western imperialism and racism. As David Horowitz has observed, accusing someone of racism nowadays is analogous to accusing someone of being a Communist in the 1950s; it's the virtuous slander. Racists have no freedom of speech, or any other freedoms.

The result of this thinking is not that opposing ideas should be refuted through debate, but that heresy must be rooted out. Unfortunately for the social justice warriors, burning at the stake is no longer acceptable.

There are two major points of vulnerability in this thinking. First, it is unrealistic. Sure, real racism certainly
exists, but prejudice is hardly confined to white Americans: few people can hold a candle to the Islamists when it comes to abuse of women and minorities, to offer but one example. Second, there are far too many people who did not attend college, who did attend but were not brainwashed, or who simply resent being told what to think. After all,this is America, a country with a strong tradition of free thinking.

One constructive suggestion is to foster more competition among social media providers. Another is to elect assertive politicians who understand the problem. The worst outcome is to make people feel cornered and intimidated, and that their only alternative is to resort to violence. It could happen here.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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